Tags: long-term | unemployed | savings | retire

Rutgers Study: Long-Term Unemployed Feel 'Devastated and Diminished'

By    |   Tuesday, 23 September 2014 01:59 PM

Even as the economy strengthens and unemployment levels fall, the long-term unemployed continue struggle financially, according to a Rutgers University survey.

Drained savings accounts, stressed family relationships and delayed or forced early retirements are pervasive among the long-term unemployed, defined as those out of work for six months longer, the survey indicates.

"While a majority of Americans were affected by the Great Recession, those who had long-term periods of unemployment experienced severe, negative changes in their standard of living," the report states. "Nearly one in four say they had been either devastated or diminished by their experiences."

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Almost half of the long-term unemployed surveyed say it will take three to 10 years for their families to recover financially, while a fifth say it will take longer than that or that they will never recover.

Seven in 10 the long-term unemployed say they have less savings and income than they did five years ago. More than 80 percent say their personal financial situation is fair or poor.

More than six in 10 unemployed and long-term unemployed say they experienced stress in family relationships and close friendships during their time without a job.

Fifty-five percent of the long-term unemployed say they will need to retire later than planned because of the recession, and 5 percent say the weak economy forced them into early retirement.

Almost a third of the long-term unemployed missed a mortgage or rent payment, a fourth moved in with family or friends to save money, a third borrowed money from family or friends and 41 percent sold some of their possessions to make ends meet.

"While the worst effects of the Great Recession are over for most Americans, the brutal realities of diminished living standards endure for the 3 million American workers who remain jobless years after they were laid off," Carl Van Horn, director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, tells USA Today.

Many of the unemployed (43 percent) were looking for part-time work over the summer, while only about a quarter looked for full-time work.

"I think it's a reflection of the work available to them. The labor market is changing," Van Horn tells USA Today, noting that many employers have replaced full-time positions with part-time or temporary jobs.

The survey was conducted between July 24 and Aug. 3 with a nationally representative sample of 1,153 Americans, including a sample of 394 unemployed workers looking for work, 389 Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months or who were unemployed for a period of more than six months at some point in the last five years and 463 individuals who currently have jobs.

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Even as the economy strengthens and unemployment levels fall, the long-term unemployed continue struggle financially, according to a Rutgers University survey.
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2014-59-23
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 01:59 PM
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