Central Texas has been fortunate with a reasonable strong job market and local economy lately, but other areas of the country have not been so lucky. In a new post by NPR, they are showing that of all Americans that were unemployed in the month of June, just over 40% of them have been without a job for 27 weeks or longer. This equates to 5.4 million Americans that have been without a job for more than half a year.
The graphic below details the percentage of people who have been unemployed for over 27 weeks, as of June 2012.
Credit to NPR for the graphic.
Individuals that have been unemployed for long periods of time, referred to by the government as the long-term unemployed, run the risk of losing valuable work skills by being unemployed for so long. This, in turn, make it more difficult for these individuals to reenter the workforce.
Since October 2009, the number of people who have been unemployed for less than 27 weeks has declined by roughly 25 percent. In
contracts, those individuals that have been unemployed for longer than 27 weeks have only declined by 5 percent.
A Wall Street Journal posting shows that the growing number of long-term unemployed people will have a negative effect on future economic growth, mainly because of diminished skill sets.
“The fragile economic recovery has not generated sufficient employment opportunities,” said Angel Gurria, the OECD’s secretary-general. “And recently we have seen clear signs of a further deterioration in global economic prospects.”
The average amount of time an unemployed American is without work has shot up in the last few years. As of November 2011, the average time an unemployed person is without work was 40.9 weeks. The most recent time when unemployment length had a noticeable spike was in 1983, when it was up to 20.8 weeks.
It doesn’t look as if this situation will mend itself with time. CNN Money shows that after a few weeks of losing their jobs, rough 3 out of 10 people will find employment. However, after a year of unemployment, the number of people that are able to find work falls to 1 in 10. The people who are coming from downsizing industries or who have outdated skills are the ones that have the most trouble finding new work.
To read more on the original NPR article, please click here.