Reports

Report: Long-term Hardship in the Labor Market

Mar 12 2012

From the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR):

Overall unemployment has ticked down slightly from the peaks of the recession, but long-term unemployment remains historically high, threatening the long-term economic security of workers and the country as a whole. A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research sheds light on the demographics of the millions of workers struggling with unemployment and under-employment.

 “Long-term Hardship in the Labor Market” breaks out workers considered long-term unemployed by the official BLS standard according to race and gender, education, and age. The authors also expand the conventional concept of long-term unemployment and capture further dimensions of long-term hardship including discouraged workers, workers marginally attached to the workforce, and workers who are part-time for economic reasons.

Report: Unemployment Insurance And What Happens To People Who Run Out

Feb 23 2012

By Arthur Delaney
From Huffington Post

David Arrieta said he received his final $214 unemployment insurance check last week after losing his office manager job in August 2010.

"Hopefully I'll get hired," Arrieta said. "Hopefully we can rebound."

In case that doesn't happen right away, Arrieta, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife and three kids, said he cashed out his retirement account and is in the process of selling off personal possessions so his family can move into more affordable housing.

Millions of people have run out of unemployment insurance without finding work since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, and the government wants to know: What happens to them? Many politicians have worried the long-term jobless will wind up in another part of the safety net; others assume the unemployed are holding out for high-paying jobs and will take what they can get when their benefits run out. Available data show neither scenario offers a complete picture.

Report: Employment Rate For Young Adults Lowest In 60 Years

Feb 9 2012

By Alexander Eichler
From The Huffington Post:

Are you young and looking for work? You're in good company.

Just 54 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 currently have jobs, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. That's the lowest employment rate for this age group since the government began keeping track in 1948. And it's a sharp drop from the 62 percent who had jobs in 2007 -- suggesting the recession is crippling career prospects for a broad swath of young people who were still in high school or college when the downturn began.

"They had the misfortune to be born at a time that would dump them into this labor market as young people," said Heidi Shierholz, a labor market economist at the Economic Policy Institute. "If we stay on the track that we're on, this cohort is not going to outpace their parents."

The Pew study arrives just days after the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, which showed the national unemployment rate trending down for a fifth straight month -- a change that many took as a sign that the economy is finally beginning to right itself. Yet joblessness is still high, and financial security remains out of reach for millions more people than just a few years ago.

Young adults were largely spared the collapse in wealth that many older Americans went through when the housing market imploded. Still, in some ways they have it the worst of any demographic. Besides the historically low employment rate for people in their late-teens and early-20s -- which is, incidentally, about 15 percentage points below the general employment rate for working-age adults, according to Pew -- the recession has eroded young workers' paychecks to a far greater degree than any other age group.

Graphs: Everything We Know About the Long-Term Unemployed

Feb 7 2012

By Derek Thompson
From The Atlantic

Understanding this chart: I'm tracking the growth in unemployment by DURATION with the shortest-term unemployed in orange at the bottom, and the long-term unemployed in blue at the top. I've indexed all numbers to begin at 100 in January 2007. Takeaway 1: People unemployed for 15-26 weeks (red) have doubled. Takeaway 2: People unemployed for 27 weeks and over have quadrupled.

See that graph? Click it. Print it. Tape it to your wall, and maybe give it some lamination. This is what the tragedy of long-term unemployment looks like, with the blue line tracking the quadrupling of those unemployed six months or longer.

Report: Official Estimates Underestimate Long-term Unemployment

Jan 12 2012

From the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR):

WASHINGTON - January 5 - The Great Recession pushed the share of the long-term unemployed (defined as being unemployed more than 6 months) to over 40 percent throughout 2010 and 2011.  But, a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that this standard measure estimate understates the extent of long-term hardship in the U.S. labor market.

"Long-term unemployment rates have been at unprecedented levels for two years now, but the full group facing long-term hardship in the labor market is likely to be at least twice as high as the official figure," said John Schmitt, a co-author of the paper and a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The report, “Down and Out: Measuring Long-term Hardship in the Labor Market,” proposes a broader definition of long-term unemployment that encompasses the underemployed and those workers experiencing long-term hardship in the labor market.

Report: Working Women Falling Behind in WA

Dec 28 2011

From the Washington News Service:

SEATTLE – For women in the workforce in Washington, 2011 could be summarized as a year of treading water – or even sinking a bit. According to a new report, women’s wages and benefits in the Evergreen State continue to lag behind those of men. Even in the same job and age range and with similar education, a woman’s average monthly pay is 63 percent of what a man earns per month.

When the recession began, men were laid off at a faster pace than women. But Tatsuko Go Hollo, policy associate with the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI), says now that the recovery is officially under way, that trend has reversed.