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(62,640 posts)
Mon Mar 31, 2014, 11:27 PM Mar 2014

Many long-term unemployed may never find full-time jobs again

WASHINGTON — A new study documents the bleak plight of Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months: Just 11 percent of them, on average, will ever regain steady full-time work.

The findings by three Princeton University economists show the extent to which the long-term unemployed have been shunted to the sidelines of the U.S. economy since the Great Recession. The long-term jobless number 3.8 million, or 37 percent of all unemployed Americans.

“The long-term unemployed are more than twice as likely” to stop looking for a job than to find one, according to the paper co-written by Alan Krueger, formerly President Barack Obama's chief economic adviser. “And when they exit the labor force, the long-term unemployed tend to say they no longer want a job.”

During any given month from 2008 to 2012, barely more than one in 10 of the long-term unemployed had found full-time work. Their troubles were similar in states with high as well as low unemployment rates.

The analysis shows that a better predictor of hiring comes from the short-term unemployed, who are far more likely to be rehired.

Across the country, levels of short-term unemployment have essentially returned to pre-recession averages, even though the overall national unemployment rate remains historically high at 6.7 percent. The paper says that based on the number of short-term unemployed, further job gains could lead to “rising inflation and stronger real wage growth.”

That's because the relative exclusion of the long-term unemployed means that employers must choose from among a limited supply of workers. That trend could push up prices.


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Sarah Ibarruri

(21,043 posts)
1. Maybe also because in this country, there are some weird, unspoken rules about being hired
Mon Mar 31, 2014, 11:28 PM
Mar 2014

One of them being that one must have had continuous employment. I think that's quite insane.


(4,452 posts)
3. I was always "continuously employed" but quit working for a wage in 2002
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 06:35 AM
Apr 2014

I quit for many reasons. Some personal and some professional. I spent most of the last 12 years caring for my parents. Although my skills are substantial, I would now be considered a dinosaur. Even though my skills could translate to the current job market, I'd rather make way for someone younger trying to get their start.
All of the things I've read and conversations I've had over the last few years support the view that age and employment status are primary factors for even being considered for a job.
The sad part is for every person like me that could walk away there are hundreds of others that can't and have almost no chance of getting back in the game.



(14,449 posts)
4. I heard that folks who are unemployed
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 06:41 AM
Apr 2014

have the hardest time getting a job because employers don't want to hire someone who is not in a current job. That to me is just crazy. How are folks supposed to get a job if they are never considered. A person who is in a current job, but wants to advance or leave a job has the best chance of getting hired and they don't even really "need" the job. No sense whatsoever.

Sarah Ibarruri

(21,043 posts)
6. You're right. It's yet another stupid corporate idea that people who have been out of a job are no
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 04:18 PM
Apr 2014

good. Of course, corporate ideas are not generally brilliant. They're simply greedy.


(12,846 posts)
11. It's an "employer's market" - the more people applying for work, the more filters HR will put in.
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:11 PM
Apr 2014

I've heard the talking heads say there are is on average a minimum of three people interviewing for every job, but what they don't say is that those three people were result of one over-worked "administrative specialist" in HR knocking a pile of 50 to 100 applications down to a "manageable" level of three to five applicants who won the interview lottery.

HR policy to removes people who are not in a current job or a full-time job in that particular field is to reduce the pile of applicants by half. Period. They may try to justify it as a "well, there must be something wrong with the applicant if they can't get a job", but after a recession when unemployment spiked.
Unless, of course, the currently unemployed applicant is fast-tracked into a "I really want to hire this person but have to go through the HR post of a job opening rigmarole to hire him/her" pile.
Another underlying reason for this policy is to open the doors for H1B, outsourcing, internship, or other more sketchy ways to hire for what should be a premium full-time job and still avoid paying a fair wage for that work. If you can't find "qualified" people under HR's definition of what qualified entails, you can get away implementing a policy that fills your workforce and meets your "bottom line" with with exploited or cheap labor.



(39,909 posts)
8. Woking Class Americans, and especially those over 50...
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 04:57 PM
Apr 2014

...realized this years ago.

Korean Free Trade Deal devastating for US Workers

What happened to the 70,000 jobs that the Korea Free Trade deal was supposed to create? They never materialized. Instead, U.S. workers lost 40,000 jobs in the first year of the agreement.


This Korean Free Trade Deal is the prototype for the TPP.
It uses much of the same language.

You will know them by their WORKS.


(11,441 posts)
9. "...tend to say they no longer want a job"?
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:08 PM
Apr 2014

If they have someone supporting them, sure. But what about those who don't? An older, single friend with a B.S. was laid off during the summer of 2012, and it's taken her until now to land a good job with one of my area's premier hospitals. That's about 20 months of searching, a 6-month online medical coding course to update skills, and just over a year of volunteering. She's been through the ringer, but thrilled to have this job. And I will say this, the volunteering is what got her noticed, with a supervisor picking up the phone and putting in a good word for her, while Ashley and/or Kourtnee and/or Taylor of HR were still sorting through resumes...

R B Garr

(17,183 posts)
13. Great story! This is inspirational.
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:18 PM
Apr 2014

I'm starting to wonder that some of those HR screening requirements are providing job security for the HR people themselves. If they keep changing the rules and making things more complicated, that secures their place. Not that HR isn't valuable, but any way you can get around them, why not, including working temp jobs.


(11,441 posts)
16. It is, and she worked HARD to land something.
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:39 PM
Apr 2014

With desperation kicking in because our asshole Republican governor and legislature cut off extended UI back in July 2013. She landed seasonal retail jobs both years, but at $8/hr crap wages. She was shot down so many times by AshleyKourtneeTaylor saying "well, the employer is being p-i-c-k-y." "Picky" as in "you're too old" (she's in her mid-50s).

Temp jobs tend to be low-wage with crap benefits, but they can be an excellent foot in the door.


(32,375 posts)
12. It's true.
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:12 PM
Apr 2014

And, sadly, there are lots of us here at DU that can vouch for it. It's even worse for those of us who are over 50.


(103,856 posts)
14. The really sad part is that if a person is mid-40's/50's and becomes permanently unemployable
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:27 PM
Apr 2014

they often do move in with elderly parents to "help" them, BUT in many cases they are another mouth to feed in a fixed-income home that is probably stretched to the max already. Most parents welcome them in, but in truth, would prefer that they could support themselves. This very thing has happened to many of my friends..

One in particular, had everything all lined up for themselves.. They sold their larger home and downsized (paid cash) to a smaller home..sold their "extra" car...had only SS and one small pension, and had planned to live quietly and conservatively...BUT their 45 yr old daughter and her 10 yr old are now with them.

She lost her car when her husband left her and then she lost her job.. Their small 2-bedroom place is now a pretty cramped space, and since they love their daughter & grandson, they feel obligated to help as much as possible. Their daughter does now have a job ($10.25 an hr), but she only gets 24-30 hrs a week, and she uses Mom & Dad's car...so now at 70-something, Dad is going to go back to work so they can help her get her own car. Their savings is pretty much gone. It's been almost 3 years, and they figure that by the time she and her son can afford to move out, Mom & Dad will pretty much be broke.


(37,573 posts)
15. my question would be
Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:39 PM
Apr 2014

How can they afford to "stop looking for a job".

They say they don't want a job?

Well shoot, I NEVER wanted a job.

I just wanted the income and benefits that come with it. I wanted to be able to eat and keep a roof over my head.

And as for long term unemployed. Well from March 1995 when I got laid off from the satellite dish factory until May of 2004 all I had were a series of part-time and temp jobs.

So I am not sure it is late enough to say "never".

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