Friday, April 18, 2014

Long-Term Unemployed Face Repeated Periods Of Joblessness

From The Washington Post, "Long-term unemployed struggle to find — and keep — jobs" by Ylan Q Mui:
New research tracking people who have been out of work for six months or longer found that 23 percent of them landed a job within a few months of the study. But a year later, more than a third of that group was unemployed again or out of the labor force altogether.
Several factors are blamed for perpetuating the vicious cycle. Some economists argue that workers' skills deteriorate during long spells of joblessness, making them less employable. Others counter that desperate workers are accepting jobs that are unstable or a poor match for their abilities, often for less money than they were making before.

In a paper for the Brookings Institution, former White House chief economist Alan Krueger looked at data on the long-term unemployed from 2008 to 2013 and documented the incidence of repeat joblessness. In a given month, about 36 percent of those workers were in a job 15 months later, according to his analysis. A closer look at the data revealed something even more disheartening: Only 11 percent were in steady, full-time jobs.
Other economists have demonstrated just how difficult it can be for the long-term unemployed to land a job in the first place. In research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Northeastern University economist Rand Ghayad sent nearly 5,000 mock applications in response to job postings. He found that résumés showing unemployment lasting more than six months were uniformly rejected — even when those applications listed significant work experience. In other words, Ghayad said, companies were more willing to hire people with little experience who were recently unemployed than they were to hire long-jobless candidates with relevant experience.

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