Long Term Unemployment is the Crisis of Our Time

Every month we show a graph of the counted long-term unemployed, currently at 5.2 million. Behind every data point on this line is a real live person, with ability, skills, promise, knowledge and capability who desperately needs someone to hire them.



CBS 60 Minutes brings home that reality in a segment about the long term unemployed. Putting a face to long term unemployment statistics shows highly educated, responsible and experienced people unable to find a job. People just like you.



In the above segment, we see normal, middle class, hard working people who have been unemployed ongoing for almost four years. They have run out of unemployment, have no retirement, lost their homes and are now desperate. What has happened to America when hard working people who have done everything right cannot find a job?

Watch the above carefully and realize this should be the national outrage and the immediate crisis. Not Romney or Obama or Ryan or even the lack of financial criminal prosecutions should override the most critical crisis of our time. America must provide employment to her people, no ifs, ands or buts. Unemployment and getting people work should be on the front page of every newspaper and site, be debated on the Congressional floor and on the minds of policy makers every day until people's livelihoods are restored.

Every month we also overview the latest job openings report. This report shows the job market, for any profession, is still beyond pathetic. The one statistic ignored by the press are the actual number of hires each month. Actual job hires have only increased 19% since the July 2009 Great Recession trough. In other words, employers are still being ridiculous and absurd in their hiring practices.



Last May the Pew Charitable Trust published a report on the long term unemployed. Pew analyzed BLS statistics for people who had been out of work for a year or longer. Just as 60 Minutes shows in the above segment, Pew's statistical dig also found highly educated people out of a job for years. The below graph, from Pew's analysis, shows even with a Masters of PhD, people are suffering under long term unemployment.

longv term unemployed education level

What Pew's analysis also shows is clear age discrimination. Below is their graph of the long term unemployed by age.

long term unemp age

The above graphs show the increase in long term unemployed for each year since the Great recession started, December 2007. We can see, across the educational background spectrum, long term unemployment spares no one. A professional career and college degree does not save you this time around. It also shows massive age discrimination and these days something must be done to stop it. Institutionalized age discrimination shows up in job advertisements, in interview questions and most of all, attitude. People simply need income, work and there is no fall back plan for most at this point.

The good news about the 60 Minutes segment is the report on an innovative internship program to get people working. It's about time, someone, somewhere did something. The bad news is people should plain just be hired, although the idea of contract to permanent employment might convince more employers to try before you buy, enabling more people to gain opportunities.

We'd like to see even more innovation to get people back to work, a lot more. We suggest incubators to start up businesses, complete with grants, tax incentives and investment, but with a caveat. The incubator and startup incentive is created and run by the long term unemployed. New business hires are also required to be from the long term unemployed. Think that's absurd? It's not. We have millions of people out of a job with years of experience, skills and advanced education, currently all going to waste. There are plenty of great business plans out there, innovative ideas, new services to be developed, new products to be launched and we also have millions of long term unemployed capable of creating those services and products.

The most disturbing elements exposed by the CBS report are the shame, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, depression and despair that the long term unemployed suffer under. The ones who should feel bad, really bad, are unscrupulous employers, politicians and America at large for not offering work and creating opportunity for their fellow Americans.



The issues + answers have been written for years and ignored

It's exhausting because there was a "60 Minutes" piece here from 2010 about 99ers in Silicon Valley - overqualified and struggling hard to survive. 2012, the year's changed, but the situation is only worse because millions more are homeless now, killed themselves, got divorced, or have no self-esteem left and are still ignored by the people in charge. Two years on and CNBS is concerned about which candidate will help Wall Street more? Not about complete destruction of America and Americans? Damn, that's bad. Plenty more gave up on the American Dream and buying into the lies spewed by politicians and the media that never struggle one day (by the way, Paul Ryan's rich as Hell according to today's news - so we should think about his job prospects and struggles and other politicians' as much as they think about ours).

We know there's work, the good paying kind, and not some internship being foisted on us for training. The UK uses such programs to get free labor from the unemployed, the Diamond Jubilee used free labor to "test run" potential employees for a govt. contractor to see "if they were fit" to be employed. Besides working for free and getting no food or shelter overnight, they watched the Queen sail by and still no jobs for them. At least the British media is more pissed than America's about our respective situations.

There's work, and as soon as the oft-repeated advice here and everywhere is taken by a yet to be seen ethical politician and businessmen, it will come in droves and will be good-paying. Stop all visas. Punish outsourcing in every industry, from medicine to law to banking to IT - they are destroying Americans' lives, exposing private information, and endagering national security. And the issue is so obvious and serious that nations like Japan and China recognize it and deal with it, unlike our politicians that come cheaper. Punish visa abuses, and criminally and civilly prosecute corporate visa abusers. Sites dealing solely with visa abusers are doing their part and are relentless - keep it up. No more foreigners in our schools or businesses taking American places unless they can cure cancer or have figured out time travel. Less supply = higher wages. Any internships must only take place in college or grad school and must offer credit. Any internships outside of school and without $ will be illegal, whether they are offered by the Department of Justice or any other government agency or private business. They are merely getting fully-qualified individuals to work for free = despicable exploitation.

Media and business will look at people's skills. The long-term unemployed will be seen as Americans, and in most cases, highly-skilled Americans that have been crapped on by unethical and greedy power-hungry, ego-driven lunatics in power. Those that insult such talent will be seen as the dolts they are. The term "overqualified" will be stricken from the American vernacular. It is a disgrace and is used by fools who are so greedy they won't pay for talent; by mediocre sniveling managers and HR that are afraid of being outthought and outworked; and by generally clueless people that will parrot whatever new word and lies the MSM starts using. We don't need 20 year olds serving their bosses by eliminating anyone with an IQ over 100 who might outthink them, assume you will be outthought, but hire thinkers for the company regardless = more profits and a better society because they are working. Punish all business and political crimes at all levels (e.g., banking and corporate crimes; fraud in higher education regarding debts and job prospects in tech, nursing, law, pharmacy, and other fields; age discrimination; etc.,).

America should be ranked among the more corrupt countries at this point (but the well-paid woman in charge of the American branch of Transparency International is actually a former employee of big business - surprised? nah), and when it finally is, that will certainly drive business elsewhere as the cost of business due to corruption will be too high. MSM, well, not sure what the answer is. Stop listening to corporate masters and ask some questions like Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? for starters.

All the advice here and everywhere will of course be ignored like it has for decades because it goes against business and political powers that profit from status quo. Banana republics are the same, no matter what slogans they profess - we're getting quickly there.

60 Minutes segment on the 99ers, long term from 2010

We covered that segment here in this piece, This is what the unemployed look like.

Stop offshore outsourcing all jobs associated with federal, state government contracts. Stop issuing foreign guest workers and cancel Visas for foreign guest workers.

These are two things we've mentioned here on this site many times, of course to no avail.

Right now, we have another corrupt "think tank". The Brookings Institution put up a pure propaganda agenda for more foreign guest workers. It was so bad even some press who normally just type up what others tell them, questioned it.

boycott imports.?

boycott imports.?

long-term unemployment & all underemployment

I have a perfectly useful college education but have never been allowed to do even 1 job requiring a B.A., let alone my education, and to start my career. I don't see people like me in the news stories, because most of the problem for me is peremptory job discrimination - and a corrupt system in the niche I should be getting lots of work in, which results in no help-wanted ads put out. Enough about me. I've got some key parts of the solution for all Americans who are long-term unemployed, underemployed, and even, as I was before I ran out of unemployment compensation, destitute from a benefit amount too low for survival. Here's the URL to my online petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/demand-workforce-guided-job-creation. Will everybody please just sign it now? If it gets a critical mass of signatures, it will rock the election. So far, both political parties prefer a blame-the-victim, trickle-down approach which hasn't worked. Nitpickers who won't sign my petition are advised to post their own, write their Congressman, and see how much good that does. I think I've got a plank for everyone.

Shortage of engineers and IT professionals now critical

A new Bloomberg article states that according to a guy named "Recruiter Watt" there exists a major shortage of IT professionals and engineers in Michigan. Salaries are now over 100K to start!

Hurry up everybody, retrain! But no, the article's underlying assumption is that the US education system does not produce engineers. More h1-b visas please!

I laughed at the IT professional pay. Do the companies pay Bloomberg to post this dribble? If 100,000 people retrain for 20,000 engineering jobs, we'd still have 80,000 unemployed people. The Bloomberg article alludes to the fact there may be as few as 1000 empty positions.

How does this article pass editorial muster? It is not journalism.


article plants are not Journalism and disgusting

That is pure bullshit. Anyone who has looked at any STEM ads in Detroit knows right in that area, there are hundreds of thousands STEM workers who cannot get a job.

Bloomberg should be admonished for putting out bogus article plants per the demands of lobbyists. That said, so should the Huffington Post, who allows lobbyists to write "articles" that are pure statistical fiction per their agenda.

Same is true in the New York Times, AP, a host of sites putting out propaganda as "fact".

H-1B is one of the biggest "paid" for promotions, pushing out lobbyist spin as "articles". Even PBS gets into the game and it's despicable.

All people with technical backgrounds reading this, I dare you to apply to any job in Michigan and Detroit and write a comment back here on the response. Did they even respond, much less hire you in 3 days? I didn't think so.

We get requests, demands for article plants almost daily, it's like spam. These people are everything from lobbyists to self-promoters to even malware sites. They try to get this crap for free too, although some offer "payment".

Needless to say we do not allow any of this crap on this site. We have nothing but our words as credibility and all ads must clearly be marked as ads. So, anyone reading this liking EP, consider a donation because we turn all of that bullshit away.

But this is how I know about lobbyists planting fake articles. It's disgusting.

Bloomberg uses his press to carry his message still

Mr. Mikey "Living in a 1%'er Bubble" Bloomberg is by no means out of the media. He uses his companies and connections to still carry messages that he creates and wants. A control freak like that never leaves the game despite conflicts of interest with Americans he is supposed to serve. He constantly appears in front of cameras in NBC, CNN, uses his own press machine, networks, etc. to continue the lie and propaganda regarding more H-1B and other visas, more illegals needed to come in because this guy simply cannot find enough Americans to wash his dishes, cook his food, and wipe his ass. Just like Bill Gates and Bill Clinton, they are only nominally out of the game. They use all the $ they made through corruption and normal business, all their friends in the media, and their foundations to keep punishing American citizens so that labor rates drop to paying people to work for them. They have it made, they and their idiot relatives are set 1000X over for life, but still they make it impossible for American citizens with every degree and experience to even survive. Remember, he wanted waves of illegals to go into Detroit because in his minute mind and body, he thought the people of Detroit and Michigan needed more competition for jobs and they just weren't smart enough or good enough to start businesses or work themselves or deserve American businesses to hire them. Never mind the fact that sounds awfully close to inviting people to break national and state laws by someone in a position of power/trust that lives 700+ miles away in luxury. He's not clueless, he knows what he's doing and just doesn't care about who he screws over, ever. And as long as he has puppets who worship the almighty dollar, he'll keep lying and utterly destroying Americans (I'd say fellow, but he's not my fellow and I doubt he shares much in common with most of us) and America as we know it.

Murdoch and Bloomberg - "Partnership for a New American Econ."

Check out the Partnership for a New American Economy website - it will make you sick because they want more visas and fewer restrictions so that, obviously, labor arbitrage will face no hurdles whatsoever and the rich get richer and our middle class can be wiped out with the people in power not losing a moment of sleep or a cent of their ill-gotten wealth. In 2012 and this is still allowed?

I could understand corporate shills, but some of these people are elected officials, including in cities with extremely high unemployment. Sounds to me like a betrayal of constituents, but that's why politicians are needed, to confuse the obvious and make lies seem like the truth.
Unbelievable! They are organizing groups to kill us even quicker and working together and our govt., composed of some of these people, controls our policies and holds offices? Are you kidding me? No wonder the media they control spouts lies and they have access we can never get. No one is looking out for us, no one except ourselves.

Bloomberg (the man who thinks of himself so highly he had to change the laws so he could stay Mayor - reminds people of other places where oligarchs change the rules to stay in office) - the man who doesn't criticize banksters or the fact that they are helping terrorists and international drug cartels because he made all his money by catering to banksters. But he will tolerate macing New Yorkers in the face that stand up for the average American and have a problem with people getting rich off terrorism and drug violence around the world (including in your own city, Mayor Mikey). Mikey, is it okay if I don't want my FDIC taxpayer money to support drug cartels and terrorists? If you want to be an accomplice, fine Mayor, but I follow the laws of the US.

Murdoch - the man that is hated in the UK for hacking thousands of phone and email accounts, bribed and stalked police officers, interfered in a child-murder investigation by having his people listen into voice mails, etc. Clear cut FCPA violations because News Corp. is US based. And he's still lobbying DOJ (I'm sure that played no part in him not being charged) and Congress - crime $ put to good use lobbying our govt.

You have the mayors of Philly, LA, CEOs of Boeing, HP, Disney, Microsoft, and the other usual cast of characters. They are now known to us.

And on their website: "the two business giants expressed the need for sensible reforms that could create new American jobs."

2012 and they want American citizens to suffer more? Murdoch, rumor has it you aren't too popular in Australia or the UK - good thing you found a govt. you could buy off along with a citizenship. More competition is good for us, damn it, how much more can we take? What completely amoral, greedy, egomaniacal psychopaths.

popping up like mushrooms

These corporations put millions into this B.S., viral marketing, shadow agenda, with fake "think tanks", fake "white papers" and bought and paid fors. Finding real sites who have real workers, real STEM to point out the fallacy of this B.S. are spread around the Internets, but basically do not have millions to pour into a "lie infrastructure".

We now have the culmination of two amoral groups screwing us

As many posters here have noted under "Automated Rejections" and the many, many other article here and every other blog that gives us a voice and expose the lies and manipulation, the good men and women who follow the rules, don't asskiss (but aren't a**holes either), and just want to do their jobs and do them well are often ignored at the expense of the narcissists and sycophants. The hard workers who don't BS but let their work speak for itself used to be able to rise to a certain level within corporations. Now they are automatically weeded out during the application phase because they have "too much" experience, or would require a living wage, or wouldn't go along with criminal acts (e.g., does anybody think HSBC is going to hire an American that really would stop money laundering or raise alarm bells immediately at Standard Chartered?). If you apply to certain corporations from a US computer, you are automatically locked in to say your are from India no matter how many times you try to fill in the USA to make sure you cannot apply (Deutsche Bank - here's looking at you!). But don't try telling the fools spouting talking points like Geraldo, Bloomberg, Stossel, Forbes, or [fill-in-the-blank]. And those who keep taking credit for others' work, kiss the most ass, and cut others' throats without showing any integrity will be the most likely to rise, and rise quickly. 21 year old HR assistants that are scared for their own careers and automated software just make the job that much easier. And then, eventually, they rise to the CEO club where psychos protect themselves. Who says there's no honor among thieves? Just ask Corzine and Dimon and any other thief at the top if they are protecting each other. Those who speak out, like in MF Global, are shown the door – those who remain learn the lesson.

In politics, who gets involved in that game? Narcissists almost all of the time. And who rises to the top, those with their hands out the most, the ones that will steal candy from the most babies while kissing another baby in front of the fawning press, and the ones that make the most promises they know they will break. Those with the biggest lies and the most corrupt will be granted more and more power.

And so we now have the culmination of two groups of amoral, narcissistic, megalomaniacal individuals that only understand abusing everyone and anything to gain power having ultimate power in 2012. So when they sit at a table, they will protect each other. They have no interest in anyone who isn't like them (i.e., us) because they rose by trying to crush people like us when they weren't lying to us or stealing from us. To look to either of these groups for help is ridiculous. They have shown throughout their lives they profit and get more power despite us and to keep us weak. How many lobbying groups represent the homeless, the working poor, the overqualified, people destroyed by visa abuses and open borders, and outsourcing? How many represent the small group of people that rose to the top through lies and treachery? And how much $ do they take from the honest people when we pay fees or buy products and then use that $ only to protect the very same people at the top that bring us misery? How many overqualified and unemployed vets are on Bloomberg? How many times is Bloomberg on TV to talk about what he wants? Wow, for one man he sure does seem to have an inordinate amount of power where “everyone is equal.” Guess those are just words.

Remember the CEO of Malden Mills, Aaron Feuerstein? Talk about a real "job creator" and "saver." His factory burned down. Feuerstein decided not only to use his insurance money to rebuild it, but to also pay the salaries of all the now-unemployed workers while it was being rebuilt. Feuerstein spent millions keeping all 3,000 employees on the payroll with full benefits for six months. Unfortunately the company eventually went bankrupt, but he did the right thing despite pressure to cut his losses and outsource. And remember this, how many banksters and big CEO would be bankrupt many times over except for our intervention and protection? How many billions does a hedge fund manager earn for sitting in front of a computer and LOSING to the market?! And these CEOs and banksters never, never did the right thing by their employees or Americans before or after they had trouble. They’d go out of their way to fire those people no matter what, even before a fire ever happened. And yet people like Feuerstein are too soon forgotten by the corporate press and we have politicians and businessmen celebrated for getting richer at our expense (NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, ending Glass-Steagall, lifting visa caps, betting billions on derivatives, laundering money for criminals and terrorists, etc.).

Of course there are waves of honest businessmen and people who want to fix the current system, but they are purposely locked out with no access. Crony capitalism rewards those that buy their way into the system and keep perpetuating it. It will not fix itself and we cannot look to those who profit from it to fix it either.

Oh, by the way, today, as is weekly custom for decades now, both parties are blaming each other for the never-ending unemployment disaster. First, Bill O and Stossel and Dobbs and every other dope on every channel, I thought people were unemployed because they were "lazy" and "not looking hard enough." So if that's the case, the economy must be booming. But if it's booming, Dems get some credit. But then you say it's dismal in the next sentence. Then you can't blame the unemployed, but rather have to blame CEOs, and outsourcing, and visa abuses, and at least many GOP members. So which is it you dumb bastards? I don’t expect much, but the logic of a five year old I do expect from rich puppets. Dems, same thing, economy is improving or not. Just kidding, I know both parties will never blame their paymasters and will do whatever it takes to get richer and more corrupt. Carry on.

good CEOs

They are few and far between, that would make a nice post, ethical, moral CEOs who do their job of taking care of their employees. This used to be a strong corporate value before 1980.

The wasted/ignored talent is a tragedy

Just think of all of the unemployed Americans out there that can basically do anything and everything a great society should be able to do (and these are people who have been out of work for 4+ years now). Not only filling roles they already had, but able to move into dozens of other jobs they could learn or that they could switch in to, resumes and past experience and pigeonholing be damned(and isn't that what makes life worth living - always learning, getting excited about something). The innovation, and cures, and remedies, and simply great ideas that are pushed aside because of the quest for cost savings, and mediocrity, and fear by superiors. If business schools and think tanks served any legitimate purpose whatsoever and not some strict agendas, they would have been up in arms about this for quite a few years now. The silence is deafening and Americans that are ignored really do have gripes with not only those who pushed them aside or rolled over them, but also everyone who didn't fight on their behalf for years now. I look forward to the day when the unemployed talent gets back in power and competes with those who made their lives so difficult and drives them out of business or gets into a hiring position. If anything, that should keep a few people's struggle to keep on going very much alive in these trying times.


perhaps "job" needs redefining.
in 1972 alvin toffler wrote;
due to advances in production
the working week (hours) needs to be reduced to spread the jobs.?

this is actually used in Europe

Germany did this when hit with recession as did others to keep as many people working as possible. Surprise, they recovered in spite of the current Euro crisis. In the U.S. people are working to death and as we point out in the productivity overview, U.S. workers are not sharing at all in the soaring U.S. labor productivity figures.

Senior workers....

As the last graph shows hiring discrimination against the 55 plus group is at it's highest, at the same time everyone is worried about the baby boomers and the solvency of Social Security. If more seniors were working, they wouldn't HAVE to file for early SS benefits. You would think these so-called leaders would see the correlation but of course they don't. Many senior citizens have years of valuable experience and are hard and loyal workers, but there are so many roadblocks in the way for them to secure jobs that many give up. Now you have this huge segment of talented, energetic (yes old folks can be energetic!) hard working people sitting home, waiting to die. Thanks America! There are programs that are called Mature worker programs, and Senior employment entities that are supposed to hire older people. Many are now not available or underfunded! Those wealthy crooks who still cling to the lie that they should get tax breaks because they're the job creators is the biggest crock of nonsense EVER created. If you want people to continue paying into the Social Security fund...Hire Seniors so they don't have to collect!