How long will it take for the unemployed to find a job?

While market reports seem to be noting an upswing toward recovery in the U.S. economy, there are still many people who are unemployed that lost their jobs as a result of the Great Recession.  How long will it take for these individuals to find a job … a lasting job …?  The Brookings Institute Papers on Economic Activity reveals:

“The short-term unemployment rate is a much stronger predictor of inflation and real wage growth than the overall unemployment rate in the U.S. Even in good times, the long-term unemployed are on the margins of the labor market, with diminished job prospects and high labor force withdrawal rates, and as a result they exert little pressure on wage growth or inflation.”  See the study report here.

In addition, a FiveThirtyEight analysis says Americans who had the misfortune of losing their jobs during the height of the most recent recession in 2009 were more than four times as likely to end up out of work for a year or longer than those who lost their jobs during the comparatively good economy of 2007.  See analysis report here.

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Unemployed over age 55 face only 47 percent chance of new job, statistics reveal

The unemployment trend since the beginning of the Great Recession is to layoff workers over the age of 55. Many are joining the college graduates in search of career opportunities. Phys.org photo

At the beginning of the Great Recession and continuing today is the trend to layoff individuals over the age of 55. The layoffs or firings have nothing to do with job performance or loyalty to a business or corporation. Employees over 55 just cost to much. If you think about it, most 55+ are at the highest salary of their careers and are looking toward the end of the tunnel called retirement. Another reality check facing 55+ employees is their increase use of health insurance to cover medical needs as they grow older.  In return, those medical needs could possibly cost an employer more and affect their financial bottle line.

Read Tom LeCompte’s blog from Boston’s NPR news station website, WBUR, which discusses job loss statistics and why over 55 might mean delayed retirement and new career challenges.

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Federal minimum wage issue stalls, states and cities take action

As the 2014 moves forward, some states and local cities are changing the minimum wage. Harvardpolitics.com photo

Throughout the country many states and local municipalities are raising the minimum wage by 50 cents or up to $15 per hour.  So why is the federal government ignoring the wishes of the American people to raise the minimum wage?  To read more, CNNMoney.com gives the details here.

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Research says without government benefits U.S.’s poverty line would be twice as high

realtruth.org photo

The war on poverty declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson 50 years ago might at first look like a failure while 15 percent of Americans in 2013 are living below the poverty line.  But without the armor of government benefits, a Columbia University study states America’s poverty line could have been as high as 31 percent.

New York Times:  In the War on Poverty, a Dogged Adversary

By Eduardo Porter, The New York Times

“… Without the panoply of government benefits — like food stamps, subsidized school lunches and the earned-income tax credit, which provides extra money to household heads earning low wages — the nation’s poverty rate last year would have reached almost 31 percent, up from 25 percent in 1967, according to the research at Columbia …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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$Millions needed for homeless families in Massachusetts

Lynnicia, 22, and her 15-month-old son, Myshon, were forced to seek emergency shelter after their federal rent subsidy expired and their landlord raised the rent to market rate. With no shelter space available, they were placed in a Brighton motel. Jesse Costa/WBUR photo

Two years ago the state of Massachusetts was distributing $200,000 for families in transition from homelessness.  The program is called Residential Assistance for Families in Transition.  Today, according to the article below, $10 million is require for homeless family assistance.  So, what is going on?  More rental evictions, more long-term unemployment, the end of federal benefits or a spike in rental cost?  For many families, the Great Recession is not over.

WUBR Boston:  Soaring Rents And Stagnant Incomes Leave Record Number Of Mass. Families Homeless

By Bruce Gellerman, Boston NPR News

“… The housing office has contracts with permanent shelters around the state to provide emergency assistance for 2,000 families. In normal times, the safety net works, serving homeless parents and their children under 21. But, Gornstein says, these are not normal times …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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Many U.S. families losing ground against the poverty line

If you have an emergency fund or savings for unexpected car repairs, medical bills or want to help a person in need, it might be as easy as making a digital payment or sending a cashier check to pay want needs to be paid.  But if you are living on a fixed income in combination with government assistance, these expected debts might throw a family’s budget and security into a tailspin. Do you pay for the car repairs because it is necessary to get to work? Or do you pass on going to the doctor’s because the bill would interfere with putting food on the table?  The whole idea of living paycheck to paycheck cannot alter from its assigned rhythm, otherwise, the accumulation of indebtedness could become all-consuming in your life. The balance is shot. You are swimming against the strong current leading to the poverty line.

Northwest Herald:  Living on the Poverty Line

By Emily K. Coleman, Shaw Media

” … But the other problem has been a series of minor disasters that chip away at any earnings she might have saved: the washer and dryer breaking down or a broken brake line on a car. There was the pipe that burst two Octobers ago and flooded the basement with 10 inches of water, ruining baby pictures and family mementos …”  To read the complete article, link here.

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Off the Charts: Social Security benefits are modest by international standards

Recent austerity measures in other countries still leave their benefits well above U.S. levels, in most cases.  Greece and Iceland, for example — which topped the rankings in 2011 and 2009 — have slipped several notches but remain far more generous than the United States. To read the whole article, link here.

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