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Ear to the Ground

U.S. Job Seekers In for a Long, Frustrating Hunt

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Posted on Jun 8, 2011
unemployment office
Flickr / clementine gallot (CC-BY)

Anyone who’s reading this while in the midst of looking for work may not be surprised to hear that Americans who quit their search for employment spent five long months hunting before throwing in the towel.  —KA

The Wall Street Journal:

The amount of time the unemployed spent hunting for jobs rose sharply last year. Those out of work tended to search for about 20 weeks before quitting in 2010, compared to 8.5 weeks in 2007, according to a recent Labor Department report. The report studied how long unemployed workers took to either find a new job or quit looking.

Labor-force participation, the share of Americans who are working or looking for jobs, has fallen to its lowest percentage since the mid-1980s. That’s partly because people have grown discouraged about their ability to find jobs and have given up looking. With those workers on the sidelines, the unemployment rate has been lower than it otherwise would be.

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By Maani, June 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

I am one of those caught in the cycle.  I was paid off from both my full-time and part-time jobs in a single week in April 2008 - i.e., BEFORE the Fall 2008 meltdown.  Yet except for two brief stints (one for three months, one for six weeks), I have been living on unemployment (less each year), plus substitute teaching (an average of once or twice a month).  Thankfully, just last week, I got a steady part-time job (three days), because my unemployment for 2011 runs out in mid-July, at which point I would have been left with nothing but the occasional night teaching.  To say that I am “one paycheck away from homelessness” is no longer such an exaggeration.  And I was in the full-time work force for well over 25 years.

Yet I consider myself one of the “lucky” ones (though I don’t believe in luck…).  At least I have living family and a friend or two who would be there if things REALLY crashed for me.  There are millions who do not have even THAT.

The “new normal” is truly unnerving - whether you are actually in it, or just watching it.

Peace.

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By Awi, June 9, 2011 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

Unemployment is a consciousness plan devised by the rich to shock people into retraining and lowering their life style.  To them we are no more than rats in a maze.  Unfortunately people seem no more intelligent than rats and accept their imposed circumstance meekly. Bernanke is the Circus master.

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By rollzone, June 9, 2011 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

hello. where are the war jobs? now that we are openly
engaged in Yemen, at the behest of Wall Street, while
GoldenSacks of cash is being investigated for a $50
million bribe of Libya- where are the war jobs? will
people ever understand Wall Street is not an American
employment agency? their best interest, is profits
for the few; not employment on Main Street. the
longer we permit bankers to ruin our employment
prospects, the worse life will get here. we are now
engaged in four overt wars, by the Nobel Peace Prize.
al-Qooka has imaginatively morphed from a splinter
group, supposedly into a global force. the Muslim
civil conflict of the day -is spared in Saudi Arabia,
because they bought a huge weapons cache, and they
are pouring billions of stolen petrodollars, into
paying off citizen revolution. Wall Street is using
our military as their pawns. Wall Street is using our
Congress as its pawn. Wall Street has long since been
using the Presidency as its pawn. Wall Street does
not act in the best interest of America. it works to
profit the few players in their investment gambling
schemes. Wall Street uses our military, to hedge
against loss (illegally stack the deck in the name of
American interests abroad), and capitalize greater
investment. Wall Street is the ultimate corruption
cesspool of American financial swamps. it would be in
America’s best interest to drain Wall Street. jobs
would return to Main Street.

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By surfnow, June 9, 2011 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

Yeah, and the numbers don’t reflect the under-employed either. The officially unemployed, plus the under-employed- all those working part-time at lower paying jobs with no benefits is well over twenty percent or over 40 million Americans. Get used to that number- because we are officially a Third World nation. Double digit unemployment has been a reality all through Central America and much of the Middle East for years, and now it’s our turn.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 9, 2011 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

No doubt many have joined the underground economy.

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