For Immediate Release
Unemployment Rate Does Not Tell the Full Story: Long-term Hardship a Tremendous Burden on Millions of Workers and the Economy
WASHINGTON - 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.
The report shows that under the standard measure of long-term unemployment, half of all unemployed black men have been jobless for more six months or longer, followed closely by roughly 49 percent of unemployed Asian men, black women and Asian women. However, the alternative measure shows that black men are much more likely than other workers to experience long-term hardship. About 9 percent of all black men in the labor force, compared with 7 percent of black women, 5 percent of Latino women and 4 percent of Latino men had been unemployed for six months or longer in 2011.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
"The recovery, which officially started in the summer of 2009, has provided almost no relief to those experiencing long-term hardship in the labor market," said John Schmitt, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and a co-author of the report.
Large numbers of workers are not accounted for under the traditional measure of long-term employment. As a result, millions of workers fall outside of official tallies and face significant and long-lasting loss of earnings, deterioration of skills, poverty and even higher rates of divorces and reduced physical and mental health. The report shows that this is a burden borne disproportionately by blacks and Latinos, less-educated workers and younger workers, all of whom are more likely to face extended periods of long-term hardship.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.