I've finally eaten my way through a long list of chores, and I can finally catch up on the world. One of my chores this morning was to call the unemployment center to get my $400 weekly check. Everything helps.
Lots of people are buzzing about this chart from the Wall Street Journal, which looks at the historical percentage of the unemployed who've been without a job for 27 weeks or more. Hey, I'm one of those blips.
Long term unemployment is bad news for a lot of reasons. Ezra Klein explains,
Unemployment isn't just a problem because it means someone loses his
job. It's a problem because it means that person's next job is likely
to be worse than his last one. People lose their skills, their
contacts, their self-confidence. Their résumé begins to look worse and,
if they're older, age discrimination kicks in.
The actual numbers of people who are unemployed or are marginally employed have to be even worse. Those numbers don't include my buddy who is trying to find a job after taking off years to raise her kids or the buddy who is piecing together freelance jobs, because she can't find a teaching job after getting a Masters in Education or all those people who have been unemployed for so long that the system isn't keeping track of them anymore. They also don't include all the kids who graduated last year (or the up-coming graduates) who never found jobs.
If you really want to get depressed, talk to a college student about trying to find a summer job. I hear that some stores are actually paying less than the minimum wage right now. Check out Jobvent.