Unemployment: More Than a Lost Job

Unemployment: More Than a Lost Job

With the economy trying to recover new statistics have come out that are shocking but true. Before the Great Recession people who were looking for a job for over six months was only at 0.8 percent of the work force. This number is considered the long term unemployed. In 2010, that number before the recession jumped to 4.2 percent. Although 4.2 seems like a small number, this number is affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans, who can’t find jobs to support their families. What’s crazy is if you count people who gave up looking for a job this number would be almost 50 percent higher.

Older Americans are getting hit harder than ever with the recession. Even though older Americans get laid off less than younger employees, the number has almost doubled. The problem with this is that workers between 50 and 61 have a nine percent chance of getting hired after searching for 17 months. As you get older, 62 years and up, this percentage falls to only a 6 percent chance of finding a job. At that small rate it might not even be worth searching for a job, because these rates keep falling. Unemployment is different because it causes people to do things they usually wouldn’t do. Daniel Sullivan an economists, suggests In older male workers the death rate increases 50 to 100 percent following being laid off. That means that for male workers who have lost a job, are expected to live one and a half years less than a man who has a job.

One reason that the death rate has increased is directly connected to suicide. The rate for suicide will jump 1.47 percent if unemployment goes up by ten percent. Even though 1.47 percent is small, if you look at that how many people are employed, it equates to a 128 suicides a month which is a lot of families without a mother, father, or son. Death rates are not the only thing that is getting affected by unemployment. Unemployment is associated with cancer and heart disease. Men who have been unemployed have 25 percent higher chance of getting cancer. With death rates increasing, cancer and illness increasing, divorce rates have increased as well. For men who have lost a job the chance of getting divorced is 18 percent higher. Women who lost a job have 13 percent chance that the marriage will end up in divorce.

With the presidential election coming soon, it is hard to say that the government was prepared for long term unemployment. There however are new efforts to help with unemployment. A recent bill extended payroll tax which would cover the cost of work sharing programs. However these programs and an improving economy won’t help unless we reconnect with these people, because they have been away for months at a time and don’t know what to do in certain cases. In situations the person hiring should try to ‘reconnect’ with these worried lost workers.

Hassett, Dean Baker And Kevin. “The Human Disaster of Unemployment.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 May 2012. Web. 01 Aug. 2012.


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