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January 07, 2013

3.3 Million Workers Are Essentially Now Permanently Unemployed

They've given up even looking, as they haven't looked for work in the past year.

And they're officially excluded from the main unemployment stats, as "unemployed" is defined as seeking employment. Which they're too discouraged to do. They've given up.

Ignoring the hopeless might make it seem like the long-term unemployment problem in the United States is slowly improving.

[T]he growing number of hopelessly unemployed is worrisome. Studies widely show the longer a person is unemployed, the weaker his or her chances are of getting a job.

At some point, long-term unemployment can lead workers to become permanently detached from the labor force. That's not good for the economy.

"We know we have this huge pool of missing workers," Shierholz said. "And we are not yet in a labor market that draws people in."

One sentence I cut from that is the claim that unemployment figures have fallen "sharply" since 2009. Sharply?

2012 offered the public two competing visions: One of growth fueled by the private sector, the other an economy in which the government simply hired more government workers, and extended or increased benefits for the unemployed. Unfortunately, the chose the latter.

The only optimistic thought I have is that capitalism is a philosophy for the risk-taking and for the courageous, and it could be that in times of incredible economic stress, people's courage just deserts them. We saw this with FDR, too.


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posted by Ace at 12:54 PM

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