The US Structurally Unemployed

The new face of American unemployment, By Jeanna Smialek and Patricia Laya, February 7, 2017, Bloomberg: “Even at so-called full employment, some 20 million Americans are left behind.  They’re looking for work, out of the labor force but unhappy about it, or report working part-time when they’d prefer more hours, according to data released last week. Their plight comes even as the U.S. flirts with what economists consider the maximum level of employment for the first time since before the recession, having added 15.8 million jobs since the start of 2010. While some of America’s jobless are simply between gigs, those persistently stuck out of work are called the structurally unemployed…”

State Jobless Benefit Requirements

  • N.C. House OKs tougher requirement for jobless benefits, By Richard Craver, August 19, 2015, Winston-Salem Journal: “The N.C. House approved changes Thursday to the state’s unemployment insurance benefits law that raise the number of required weekly job search contacts from two to five. Senate Bill 15, approved 83-27 on third vote, goes to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature. The changes would take effect Jan. 1.  The bill requires that people who receive unemployment benefits keep a record of their contacts, which can include online applications, and provide it to N.C. Division of Employment Security officials upon request…”
  • Worker advocates: New rule is Scott Walker’s latest effort to make unemployment benefits harder to collect, By Pat Schneider, August 21, 2015, Capital Times: “Patrick Hickey says that an additional filing requirement to collect unemployment compensation will lead to late checks and lost benefits, and that imposing it is part of how Gov. Scott Walker is curtailing assistance to state residents. ‘This is part and parcel of the administration’s goal to stigmatize poverty and shame poor people by making the system so cumbersome and humiliating that people give up,’ said Hickey, a member of the Workers’ Rights Center in Madison. The new rule will require workers making weekly unemployment benefits claims by phone to begin faxing or mailing in a log of their weekly job search efforts, according to a notice on the state Department of Workforce Development web site…”

Long-Term Unemployment

  • Rutgers report: Devastating impact of long term joblessness, By Hugh R. Morley, September 22, 2014, The Record: “A Rutgers University study released today provides a grim, detailed picture of the severe impact that long-term unemployment continues to have on the lives of millions of Americans more than five years after the end of the Great Recession. About one-third of the long-term unemployed workers — six months or more — in the study, based on surveys of unemployed and employed Americans across the nation, said they had been ‘devastated’ and suffered a permanent change in their lifestyle by their jobless experience. The study, titled ‘Left behind: The long-term unemployed struggle in an improving economy,’ found that one in five workers laid off in the last five years are still unemployed. And it showed how far long-term jobless workers slip compared with employed workers…”
  • Long-term job hunters still struggle, By Diane Stafford, September 21, 2014, Kansas City Star: “A ‘brutal’ legacy of the Great Recession — diminished living standards — endures for people who suffered, or still suffer, from long-term unemployment. According to a national report released today by the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, one in five workers who were laid off during the last five years is still looking for work. While the American economy continues its slow recovery, about 3 million people remain in long-term job searches extending beyond six months. Two million of them have been job hunting for more than a year…”

Long-Term Unemployment

Long-term unemployed still at record levels, By Don Lee, September 10, 2014, Los Angeles Times: “It has come down to this for Brian Perry: an apple or banana for lunch, Red Sox ballgames on an old Zenith TV and long walks to shake off the blues. At 57, Perry has been unemployed and looking for work for nearly seven years, ever since that winter when the Great Recession hit and he was laid off from his job as a law firm clerk. By his count, Perry has applied for more than 1,300 openings and has had some 30 interviews, the last one a good two years ago. With his savings running dry, this summer he put up for sale his one asset — a three-bedroom house his parents used to own in this suburb of Providence. ‘I’m not looking for pity, just one last opportunity,’ said Perry, a boyish-looking man with bright blue eyes and a nasal New England brogue. The national economy, now in its sixth year of recovery, is gaining momentum and the unemployment rate has fallen sharply over the last year to 6.1%. But the number and share of people out of work for more than six months, the so-called long-term unemployed, remain at historically high levels…”

Joblessness and Unemployment

  • Long-term unemployment almost double pre-financial crisis level – OECD, By Phillip Inman, September 3, 2014, The Guardian: “The number of long-term unemployed in the world’s major economies has increased by 85% since the financial crash, according to the latest employment monitor by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD). More than 16 million people have been out of work for at least a year in the first quarter of 2014, up from 8.7 million before the crisis, or more than one in three of all unemployed across the OECD’s 34 member countries, the report said…”
  • U.S. job growth slips in August after months of bigger gains, By Nelson D. Schwartz, September 5, 2014, New York Times: “Once again, the American economy has managed to frustrate the optimists. After a series of positive economic reports in recent weeks, the Labor Department said Friday that hiring in August sank to its slowest pace since December, with employers adding 142,000 jobs last month. The vast majority of economists had been looking for a gain of at least 200,000 in payrolls, coming off healthy indicators for durable goods orders, construction activity and manufacturing in July and August. The unemployment rate did fall by 0.1 percentage point to 6.1 percent last month, but that was because more people dropped out of the work force rather than found jobs…”

Racial Disparity Statistics

America’s racial divide, charted, By Neil Irwin, Claire Cain Miller, and Margot Sanger-Katz, August 19, 2014, New York Times: “America’s racial divide is older than the republic itself, a central fault line that has shaped the nation’s history. This month it has manifested itself in sometimes violent protests in Ferguson, Mo., after a police killing of an unarmed young black man. The resonance of that event is related to deeper racial fissures between blacks and whites; that divide is the reason that the events in Ferguson amount to something bigger than a local crime story. What is the state of that larger divide? In what areas has there been meaningful progress toward shared prosperity over the last generation, and in what areas is America as polarized by race as ever…”