Chronic Joblessness

I still can’t quite wrap my brain around the fact that a Democratic administration is doing nothing to help the unemployed:

Overall, seven million Americans have been looking for work for 27 weeks or more, and most of them—4.7 million—have been out of work for a year or more.

Long-term unemployment has reached nearly every segment of the population, but some have been particularly hard-hit. The typical long-term unemployed worker is a white man with a high-school education or less. Older unemployed workers also tend to be out of work longer. Those between ages 65 and 69 who still wish to work have typically been jobless for 49.8 weeks.

The effects of long-term unemployment are likely to linger when the overall jobless rate falls toward normal, threatening to create a pool of nearly permanently unemployed workers, a condition once more common in Europe than in the U.S.

“The consequences are worse for those who can’t find a job quickly,” said Till Marco von Wachter, a Columbia University economist. They extend from atrophying skills to a higher likelihood of unhappiness and anxiety. Workers out of work for a long time tend to find it more difficult to find a job, and “the longer people are unemployed the more likely they are to eventually give up searching and thereby drop out of the labor force,” Mr. von Wachter said.

The typical unemployed worker, regardless of occupation, had been unemployed for a seasonally adjusted 21.6 weeks as of April. Because of the deep recession, Congress extended jobless benefits to a maximum of 99 weeks in states with high unemployment. Those extended benefits will expire if Congress doesn’t act; the Labor Department estimates that 19,000 jobless workers could start losing benefits in the first week of June. The House has voted to extend the benefits; the Senate hasn’t yet.

While blue-collar and construction workers have been battered by the recession, they aren’t the only ones hit. Unemployed production workers, including toolmakers, woodworkers and food processors, have been out of work for a median of 38.1 weeks. Unemployed workers whose most recent job was in management, business and financial operations have typically been out of work for 32.3 weeks.

Richard Moran of Ortonville, Mich., the state with the highest U.S. unemployment rate, hasn’t had a job for two-and-a-half years. The 57-year-old, who was laid off from a testing and design job for Chrysler Group LLC, suspects his age is working against him.

Mr. Moran has attended two free training programs. The first, to become a corrections officer, ended at roughly the same time that Michigan was closing prisons amid tightening budgets. He recently finished an auto-parts design course to refresh his skills. “The certificates are piling up,” said Mr. Moran, who also has a four-year college degree in mass communications.

While education is helpful, college graduates have also fallen into the ranks of the long-term unemployed. They represent 15.9% of the long-term jobless, compared with 14.9% of all unemployed workers. Those with high school degrees who haven’t been to college comprise 40.7% of long-term unemployed, compared with 37.8% of all unemployed workers.

8 thoughts on “Chronic Joblessness

  1. You can’t? After Clinton passed NAFTA and welfare “reform” in the 1990s? After the Dems were happy to jump on board Gramm-leach-Bliley? After the democrats voted with the GOP to pass the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005? After the democrats killed the public option and have been watering down the financial bill to the point of uselessness? After President Hopeful McChange convened another “let’s destroy social security” (a plan recently revealed to have been considered by Bill Clinton as well)?

    I can wrap my brain around it quite easily. Life in the oligarchy.

  2. By screwing over Democrats, Obama wins.

    The press are openly laughing at the Democratic Congress’s stupidity.

    …and still they don’t get it. Too funny

    “….good news for Obama…a Republican House would give him a handy target for any blame in his anticipated 2012 re-election bid, something he wouldn’t have if both houses remained Democrat…with low approval ratings.”

  3. Even during FDR’s time progressives or liberals only made up a fraction of the Democratic party. Don’t forget that the only reason FDR became a democrat was because there was a power opportunity in the NY democratic party at the time and because his Uncle Theodore had been a republican and FDR wanted to be out from under TR’s shadow.

    Southern and other conservative democrats dragged their feet the whole way through the New Deal. They got blindsided for a couple of years by the Kennedy assassination and let LBJ get some civil rights and great society laws passed (with Republican votes against southern democrat opposition) , but they soon recovered. Carter and Clinton yanked the steering wheel back to the conservative side of the road, where it stays today.

    In other words, the New Deal and Great Society concern for the people was the aberration, not the corporate, fiscal, racial, militaristic and social conservatism of today.

  4. HAHAHA. That is some high quality “concern” there S. Brennan, and then i saw the byline on your link: Andrew Malcolm.

    He’s about as biased and discredited a source as you can get. So thanks for the laugh.

  5. It’s always interesting to me that people who opposed Bill Clinton’s welfare reform think that they are criticizing him from the left without being aware that they are preferring Ronald Reagan’s welfare reform which was putting mothers in jail for fraud who earned a few extra bucks to buy their kids a birthday president. Clinton moved welfare to the left and made it much easier for mothers to survive. A few of the states created draconian programs, that’s true as well. I worked with a group that helped transition mothers off of welfare and into work, and it became much easier for women to not break the law, once reform had passed. And getting women in the work place meant much more income for them. it made lives better.

    But hey, if you prefer Reagan’s plan, have the courage of your convictions at least.

  6. You really don’t get it? Why the dems aren’t doing anything to help unemployed. The same reason they didn’t do anything to (fill in the blank) … environment, TBTF, Health Care, the list is massive and growing.

    It’s because we don’t have a dem president, and haven’t had one since, hell, I don’t know; Carter maybe?

    The Democratic party has become a joke! A soulless, gutless nothing burger.

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