Nearly 60 percent of those who have been out of work for two years or longer say they have stopped looking for a new job, a "frightening" discovery in a new Harris Poll of unemployed Americans.
Overall, 43 percent of the jobless said they have given up, according to the poll
released in conjunction with Express Employment Professionals, a job placement service.
A total of 83 percent of those polled also believe the U.S. economic system benefits the rich.
This year’s survey of 1,513 jobless Americans age 18 and older indicates that unemployment is becoming a chronic condition. More than half, 51 percent, reported they haven’t been on a job interview since 2014, and 40 percent of the unemployed reported being out of work for more than 24 months. In addition, 40 percent said that they expected their search to be difficult, but “it’s been more difficult than I thought.”
“This is a tale of two economies,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Those with skills and jobs are seeing a slow but steady recovery from the days of the Great Recession. But far too many are still being left behind, a fact often masked by a declining unemployment rate and a low labor force participation rate,” Funk said.
“It’s frightening to see this many people who could work say they have given up. The country can’t afford to let this many people fall behind. We clearly also need to equip people with the skills required for the jobs that are available,” Funk said.
Other highlights of the poll:
- 83 percent say economic benefits are skewed to the rich.
- 66 percent say they don't apply for minimum-wage jobs because the pay is too low.
- The unemployed are spending just 11.7 hours a week looking for work.
- More than half — 51 percent — say they haven't had a job interview since 2014.
- There's virtually no stand-out preference in the presidential race: 27 percent prefer presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while 23 percent favor likely Republican Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy created the fewest number of jobs in more than 5-1/2-years in May as manufacturing and construction employment fell sharply.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by only 38,000 jobs last month, the smallest gain since September 2010, the Labor Department
said on Friday. Employment gains were also restrained by a month-long strike by Verizon workers, which depressed information sector payrolls by 34,000 jobs.
The number of Americans who are no longer in the labor force
surged by 664,000 in May to hit an all-time high of 94.7 million.
The labor force participation rate dipped from 62.8 percent in April to 62.6 percent in May, near its 38-year low. The participation rate has declined by 0.4 percentage points over the past two months.
Adding the number of unemployed workers to the people not in the labor force, there are now over 102 million Americans who are either unemployment or no longer looking for work, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported on Friday.
Underscoring the report's weakness, employers hired 59,000 fewer workers in March and April than previously reported. While the unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.7 percent in May, the lowest level since November 2007, that was because 458,000 Americans gave up the search for work, Reuters
Some economists said the sharp slowdown in employment last month was payback after unseasonably warm weather boosted hiring in February and March. They also viewed the weak payroll growth as a delayed response to tepid economic growth in the previous two quarters.
"The simplest explanation is that job growth tends to respond with a lag to GDP growth, and GDP growth was rather weak around the turn of the year. This would suggest job growth should recover along with overall growth in economic activity," said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.
Despite the poor performance in May, job creation has averaged 150,000 a month this year. That is well above the 100,000 monthly employment increase that Yellen has said is needed to keep up with growth in the work-age population.
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
© 2023 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.