Study Reveals Continued Tough Job Market For The Long-Term Unemployed

Jobs Newspaper - Coffee - IllustrationAccording to a new study led by Alan Krueger, just 10% of the long-term unemployed re-enter the work force each year.

In the latest jobs report (February), the Bureau of Labor Statistics ("BLS") revealed that there were 3,849,000 Americans that had been unemployed for at least 27 weeks, up 203,000 from the month before.

In order to be considered "unemployed", Americans must be actively looking for work. So, the number of long-term unemployed in the United States is actually much higher than 3.849 million, as this number doesn't include all of the people who have given up trying to find work - aka "discouraged workers". If you are unemployed and have given up on trying to find work, you are considered to be "not in labor force" and neither employed or unemployed.


According to the study, the job market for the long-term unemployed remains exceedingly difficult even in states where the unemployment rate is quite low.

There are a couple of reasons for this, including:

1) The long-term unemployed tend to look less "intensively" for work, as they are already so discouraged by their current circumstances

2) Potential employers are skeptical of hiring the long-term unemployed in many cases

If you are a person who has been out of work for a week, you are likely going to look for work very vigorously, certain that you will be able to find another job in short order. However, the long-term unemployed, bruised and dazed from weeks, months and years of an unsuccessful job search, will probably not expend as much energy on their search.

If you are a part of the long-term unemployed and do happen to land an interview, your potential employer is likely to look with suspicion at your resume. Why is there a big gap in your work history? Why haven't you been able to find work up until this point? What did other companies see that resulted in them not hiring you? Are your skills now out of date? Will you need to be re-trained?


According to Krueger, a "concerted effort will be needed to raise the employment prospects of the long-term unemployed", as an expected gradual rebound in the national job market will not be enough on its own.

Source: - More Discouraging News for Discouraged Workers: New Study

Filed under: General Knowledge

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