Remember these days? They are gone! (pardon the whiteness)
A new Rutgers University study, No End in Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Unemployment, authors Debbie Borie-Holtz, Carl Van Horn, Ph.D. & Cliff Zukin, Ph.D. graphs out a host of statistics on the long term unemployed. Here are their key findings (h/t HuffPo):
- Eight in ten who lost jobs during the "Great Recession" still without work.
- Only 13% of August 2009 job seekers found full-time work by March 2010.
- Less than 10% of the unemployed obtained jobs at least on par with their
previous wage or salary level.
- Fully two-thirds (67%) of those jobless last August were still jobless this March, and 12% had given up looking for jobs.
- Since August, the number of job seekers searching for more than seven months rose
from 48% to 70%.
- Over half do not think they will find a new job in the near future even though 73% are willing to take a pay cut and 77% are willing to change careers in order to get a job.
- More than half borrowed money from family or friends, 45% have increased credit card debt, and 70% have used money saved for retirement.
- Four in ten went without medical care for themselves or family members and the same number report having sold personal possessions to make ends meet.
- Nearly a third are using government Food Stamps to help put meals on the table; one n five report going to a soup kitchen or food pantry.
- One in five moved in with family or friends to save money.
- Nearly 1 in 10 sought professional help to cope with stress and depression.
On seeking professional help, what help? They need a damn job, not an overpriced therapist or chemicals that don't work. On wiping out savings, that's of those who had savings. Many never recovered financially from the last recession.
The report has a lot of graphics, but bottom line, the U.S. middle class is gone, worker affluence is gone and if it is not, there is some predatory financial institution somewhere who will work on extracting your money from you. Gone is the belief U.S. businesses have a responsibility to the U.S. worker, to provide them good, stable incomes, work and security. Gone is seemingly even our Government's responsibility to enact policies which promote stable, high paying, long term careers for Americans.
This is the new American Dream and it's a nightmare. Those warm fuzzy middle class families on TV (where magically that new middle class job can afford $500k a year housing, cars, boats, college and health care), are myths, a long ago expired fantasy, only existing in your mind, manipulating you to buy products you can no longer afford.