Those who find themselves unemployed are staying that way on average for 39.7 weeks — more than nine months — the longest timeframe since the Labor Department began tracking such data in 1948, The New York Times reports.
The length of time breaks records even when adjusted for methodology changes, and it gets even worse.
“The growing length of joblessness is particularly worrisome because it tends to be self-perpetuating. The longer a person is unemployed, the less employable he or she becomes because of factors like stigma and skill deterioration,” the newspaper said.
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“That means that the longer it takes to get Americans back to work, the further behind they will fall.”
To add multiple insults to injury, many unfortunate job seekers are exhausting their unemployment benefits and are burdened with student loans they ran up in order to increase their chances of finding work.
“Given how far behind these workers have already fallen, it may turn out that many of these Americans will never work again.”
Older workers are also facing a tough job market that is getting worse.
The unemployment rate for those 55 and older climbed to 6.8 percent in May from 6.5 percent in April and March, close to the 7 percent unemployment rate these workers faced in June 2009 at the end of the recession, Forbes reports, adding the figure is way above the December 2007 rate of 3.2 percent for older workers.
“Looking at it from the beginning of the recession, unemployment is way, way up,” says Sara Rix, senior strategy policy adviser with the AARP Public Policy Institute.
“They’re a long way off to get to where they were.”
Overall, unemployment stands at 9.1 percent.
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