An ongoing study of unemployed people conducted by Rutgers University has found that only 21 percent of those who were recently out of work as of last August had found work by this March. Two-thirds remained “unemployed” by the government’s count and the rest of the jobless had either gone back to school or retired early. Of those who are working, only 13% have full-time jobs and most have taken substantial cuts in pay and benefits to get those.
That’s 13% of 21% of the people surveyed had a full-time job. The math on this comes out to 2.73%. In other words out of every thousand who were jobless last August only 27 people have found full time jobs and that doesn’t mean a good job either, can you say “Fries with that?” For older workers the numbers were almost twice as bad, “Welcome to Wal-Mart”.
The number of people who have been looking for work for more than six months has jumped from 48% to 70% since August with 414,000 added just in March. Contrary to the rightwing talking point that says people are staying unemployed for the free money, only 40% of the jobless in August were eligible for benefits. To continue living, 70 percent were spending retirement funds, 56 percent borrowed money from family or friends and 45 percent ran up credit cards to get by. Forty-two percent skimped on medical care, 20 percent moved in with family or friends and 18 percent had visited a soup kitchen. Ninety percent rate their financial situation as fair at best and more than half now describe themselves as being poor.
Over half of the unemployed have lost their jobs for the first time even though 72% believed that their jobs had been permanent. The axe dropped suddenly with eighty percent receiving notice of two weeks or less. Just 15% of the unemployed received any severance pay, and virtually none were offered retraining for another job.
Eighty percent do not believe there is any chance of returning to their jobs. Seventy five percent say they would take a cut in pay to return to work and a similar number would be willing to change careers. Only half have even been granted an interview. A quarter of workers were making more than 75,000 a year but the American dream is now gone. There are millions of people who have used up all reserves and their situation is only getting worse. www.prairie2.com