by Bud Meyers, published April 1, 2015
First, let’s look at some numbers for a moment. They are just for last year — from December 2013 to December 2014.
We’ll be visiting those numbers again later in this post.
Currently nearly 3 million Americans —or about one-third of all of the jobless — have been out of work for over 6 months or longer. In past recessions, a far smaller share of the jobless had been out of work for so long.
In the last two years, seven states have reduced regular State benefits from 26 to 20 weeks (14 weeks in Florida and 15 weeks in North Carolina). During that time, federal extended benefits for the long-term unemployed were allowed to expire at the end of 2013. The unemployed will find little sympathy with a Republican legislator and/or Governor, even though the job market has not vastly improved since the Great Recession ended in June 2009 (despite what the mainstream media and the White House reports).
A Princeton University study last year (72-pages in PDF) showed that after 15 months, the long-term unemployed were more than twice as likely to have withdrawn from the labor force than the short-term unemployed. But if most of them weren’t ever rehired, then where did they all go?
Some found jobs. Most didn’t. Those over 62 may have taken Social Security retirements. And if someone had medical evidence of a disability (and was lucky enough to have had an empathetic judge), they may have went on disability.