What Happens To America's Long-Term Unemployed (Spoiler Alert: Nothing Good)

Tyler Durden's picture

The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or longer in the US rose by 203,000 in February to 3.8 million. As we noted previously, this is the desperate shadow hanging over the so-called recovery. What is more problematic is the stunning findings of a new study that only 11% of the long-term unemployed in any given month found full-time work a year later.



Via The LA Times,

...three Princeton economists found that only 11% of the long-term unemployed in any given month found full-time work a year later.




The economists tested the hypothesis of whether a low supply of jobs or discrimination by employers contributed to long-term unemployment.


The answer? Probably both.




"The demand-side and supply-side effects of long-term unemployment can be viewed as complementary and reinforcing of each other as opposed to competing explanations,"




The paper found that those who have been out of work for months come from all industries, but are primarily concentrated in sales, service and blue-collar jobs. The share of the long-term unemployed from sales and service jobs was 36%, and from blue-collar jobs 28%.


Even in states with booming economies, such as North Dakota, the long-term unemployed find landing a full-time job elusive.




The economists found that in 2012:

  • More than 30% of those out of work for extended periods are 50 or older, compared with 20% of the short-term unemployed.
  • 55% of the long-term unemployed are men.
  • 44% of the long-term unemployed have never been married and nearly 20% are either widowed, separated or divorced.
  • Blacks represent 22% of the long-term unemployed, a rate higher than their share of the population.
  • More than half of the long-term unemployed are white.

The paper concludes that "a concerted effort will be needed to raise the employment prospects of the long-term unemployed." Otherwise, these job seekers will continue to drop out of the workforce and hold the economy back, the economists said.

This is a major problem since, as we noted previously, echoing Irving Fisher, it appears we have reached a permanently high plateau in the duration of unemployment in America...



h/t @Not_Jim_Cramer


So, 1 in 9 of the long-term unemployed (over 27 weeks) find a job again... and the mean duration of unemployment is 37 weeks! Hope and Change that!

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FieldingMellish's picture

Canon fodder in the Endless War.

johnQpublic's picture

back when unemployment compensation only lasted 26 weeks, peolpe were back in the workforce faster


RafterManFMJ's picture

Employment is sooooooooo over-rated. Ship my job to China or Vietnam you fucking vultures - I no longer care.

The Dunce's picture

I'll be doing pretty well if they raise the minimum wage.  I shall buy a school bus and live in the Everglades.  Bitches.

Canoe Driver's picture

There is some precedent for the proposition that conventional "employment" was never intended for educated persons over 35 years of age. One of the biggest lies being told to the multitudes is that a "job" is the source of life itself. Actually, it was supposed to be ownership that generated most income for mature adults, ownership of businesses, real estate, equities and notes. One would work at a business in which one had at least a partial ownership interest. 

Taken away by ignorance and greed.

+1 RafterMan. 


moneybots's picture

"back when unemployment compensation only lasted 26 weeks, peolpe were back in the workforce faster



Back then, the economy hadn't fallen into a depression, yet.


How long was the line in NYC, to apply for some new construction jobs?  Far more applicants than there were jobs available.  How many applicants show up for a job at a new Walmart?  Far more applicants than there are jobs available.

johnQpublic's picture

havent you noticed that when you give people free money, they will take it for as long as they can?

in fact, some families accept welfare for generations


you may not like it, but the facts dont lie

people who dont have a safety net find a way...been doing it for hun...thou...millions of years

Vendetta's picture

hmmm.... something systemic rather than cyclical is afoot in the economy or what's left of it.

sgt_doom's picture

Were those the same Princeton economists who said America should offshore all their jobs?

Are they by any chance related to any of the slime at McKinsey & Co. (Chelsea Clinton's no longer there, I noticed) or McKinsey Global, who made their big bucks by advising on the offshoring of jobs from America, Europe and Japan to elsewhere?

Today, witch doctors abound, but instead of being called shamans, they are called economists!  (Exceptions:  Michael Hudson and Michael Perelman)

Kaiser Sousa's picture


Dow 18,000....

Gold phony paper price $300...

Silver passed out for free....

El Oregonian's picture

Dow: 50,000! The new penny-stock market where it will soon be known as "Penny's from heaven" NYSE! Get ready folks!

nmewn's picture


kaiserhoff's picture

More time for poetry, ..., or fishing.  But as a friend likes to say,

I'm not mad at fish.

nmewn's picture

I'm past trying to catch these technocratic fish in the water, time for dynamite.

kaiserhoff's picture

TPTB frown on that, if they catch you;)

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Sounds like you're ready to be a counselor in the Famous Flander's Re-Neducation Camps! Congratulations on passing your training

kaiserhoff's picture

Anecdotal, but in a relatively prosperous part of the country, I see more young men unable to keep a car street legal.  Really bad tipping point.  Something evil this way comes.

johnQpublic's picture

thats been a problem in the rust belt area of ny state for 30 years

stringent and ridiculous inspection standards are a starting point

Manthong's picture

Or IL.. but look at the tens of thousands zero skill inspectors out of work if you fix that problem.

Kind of like getting rid of the TSA.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Anecdotal - here's the RafterMan report.

I've seen more people try to panhandle me for gas money at the gas station in the last 12 months than in the last 20 years.

Was behind a man tonight who walked out of WalMart, leaving his items clogging the carosel when his card was declined.

Enjoying being waited on by more and more clerks who have obvious birth defects and teeth rotten or missing.

Where I work, the board is CLOGGED with items for sale...ATVs, guns, camps, cars...

...need something? Look an Craigslist...you can save 75% and don't be afriad to lowball. Deflation in what you want and inflation in what you need, baby!

My gas bill last month exceeds my mortgage.  Yea, winning! Thank Christ for that fracking bonanza.

Here's the summary - you believe the shit on the MSM you're a moron and deserve to burn. Why do you still pay for cable? Only Americans  are stupid enough to PAY to be lied to.

Where are we? In the lower decks of the Titanic, locked in and underwater, just waiting to achieve crush depth.

cocoa2000's picture

you call it a rant,,I call it a realistic observation---Dan did you watch Dancing with the stars last night???

Shad_ow's picture

I don't know you or where you live but I like the way you write.  Thanks for a look at the real America rather than the fluff the liars write for our government.

Next to Arch Stanton's picture

Here's an add-on anecdotal:

This evening driving home from work, heard 3 radio adds in this order -

1)  Service targeting people about to be foreclosed on.  Encouraged them to call and they could hold onto their house.  Implicit message - you deserve to stay there no matter what.

2)  Local car dealer advertising to people with no job, bad credit, etc. and how they can get the car they want.  They actually mentioned BMW and Lexus in this same add.  Unbelievable.

3)  Another service targeting people with student loan issues.  In some cases, they would also consolidate other unsecured debt and lower your payments.  This add made it sound like repayment was optional.

American exceptionalism - making money off sheeple!


Postal's picture

As long as employers have this stupid idea that the unemployed have "something wrong with them," this will always be a problem. The concept that we're in the worst economic mess in 80 years is irrelevant. When I was unemployed and looking for work, usually the first question was, "What are you doing now?" When I said I was unemployed, I was dropped.

Now that I have a job, guess who isn't getting my business?

kaiserhoff's picture

Good point.  Employers have not adjusted to reality.  There is an expectation that people should have a steady, stable record of advancement, in their field.  Even the best of the twenty and thirty somethings can't show that, because the world has changed.

Postal's picture

It was a difficult time. In the end, I suppose it's all for the best. I mean, I'm glad I didn't sign on to be a deck-hand while the captain is ignoring iceberg warnings.

CoastalCowboy's picture

The world is an employer's oyster right now there is no doubt, and they act like it too.

An old friend of mine just moved back into town to live with her mother. Her husband lost a high paying job 6 months ago wrecking their finances. The guy has never not worked his entire life.

She is responsible for hiring people with her employer. Her company recently had a position open. She received over 60 resumes and narrowed her interviewing down to 4 folks all of whom had college degrees.

The winning candidate had 2 college degrees. The salary for this job is a whopping $8.00 per hour with no benefits.

The cruel things that people say to and about those who are unemployed in this job market just proves the level of narcissism prevalent in our culture.

Crash N. Burn's picture

"As long as employers have this stupid idea that the unemployed have "something wrong with them," this will always be a problem."

Indeed, almost as if they were being programmed:

"Forty-six percent of Americans have jobs, and that number falls by the day, but the Chief Liar (and her parrots in the media) calls this “cumulative progress toward maximum employment”? However the 40 million – 60 million unemployed Americans who need work can’t be hidden, so they must be demonized, instead.

Divide-and-conquer is perhaps the single, most-important propaganda objective of the Corporate media.  Get the Sheeple to squabble and finger-point at each other, and they will continue to not pay attention while the Oligarchs (i.e. the One Bank) rape/pillage/oppress us – and complete their destruction of our economies and societies.

Among these divide-and-conquer tactics, perhaps none is more odious than “blame the victim”. First the Oligarchs create their (economic) victims, then to hide their own culpability, they blame the victims themselves for their fate. And among numerous examples of this blame-the-victim hypocrisy, none is as damaging (and thus despicable) as the demonization of the 100+ million permanently unemployed Victims of the One Bank’s demolition of our economies.

Reuters, one of the tentacles of this media oligopoly, provides us with a particularly despicable/sickening example of these “blame the victim” tactics:

…Alan Krueger, a respected labor market economist who led President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, said those unemployed long term tended to put less effort into their job hunts than others and were often viewed by employers as undesirable.

There you have it. According to a “respected economist”, the 40 – 60 million permanently unemployed Americans are lazy and “undesirable”. Why didn’t he label them “smelly” as well? Or, simply save his despicable adjectives and label them with a noun – lepers – since that is clearly the intent of the Corporate media, and its Liars: to ostracize the victims of the destruction of the U.S. economy.

“Respected economist”? The phrase is an oxymoron."

Corporate Media Depicts Unemployed As Lepers
Carl Popper's picture

Apparently you don't see as many of the long term unemployed as I do.  There is something wrong with most of them that makes employers not want to hire them.  It is mostly not the fault of the long term unemployed, but an employer needs the best people he can find for the price.  He has plenty to choose from.  Why choose from a pool of people who are mostly composed of problem people?  (Age, health status, motivational issues, etc )

sgt_doom's picture

I'll tell you what dipshit Popper, you'll want to stop using what those long-term unemployed created, like my part in creating the hyperlink and several Internet protocols which allow you to sign on and access the backbone.

Also, since Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest technical minds who ever lived, worked day labor for 4 years until he met Westinghouse who invested in his research, and therefore would be considered long-term unemployed today, you'll want to go completely off the power grid, dood!

sgt_doom's picture

Crash N Burn sums it quite nicely, pithily and poignantly!

As Gerard Celente keeps saying the problem with America is "bullets, bombs and banks; Harvard, Princeton and Yale (believe Kreuger is a Princeton faculty swine).

And Kreuger, like all the other professional propagandist swine, is paid to play:



(But a very, very few, like the several former Bloomberg reporters mentioned above, like that young lady reporter whom CNN fired when she attempted to write the truth about Bahrain, and Chris Hedges leaving the NY Times because they wouldn't allow him to write the truth about Bush's Iraq Invasion, are REAL Americans --- just like Mr. Manning and Mr. Snowden, and Mr. Kiriakou!)

Typing Typer's picture

Well part of that is that if they "can't find" anyone qualified they get to tap into the visa programs for an assortment of low cost, and obedient, foreign workers who don't dare to make any kinds of demands. Plus anyone from far away always looks better, as per the classic definition of an "expert", that being "anyone from out of town."

Canoe Driver's picture

The selectivity against the unemployed is causing a pervasive system of applicant lying. Employers would be better served by encouraging honesty. In my opinion, most employers instead seem to prefer to be lied to, especially when they can shift liability to a contractor who screens the applicants. It's a bad joke, and an increasingly sick field of employers.

NoDecaf's picture

Hey look, somebody has to keep the TV ratings up... "Dancing with the stars" is on every night, right?

surf0766's picture

The 9 can move to Colorado, smoke a blunt  purchased with EBT and sign up for OÇare on their new O'phone.


Rehab Willie's picture

Obamaville here I come

JailBank's picture

Really it is the unemployed's fault. They should have been rich or sold everything they owned and bought stocks in 2011. Nobody to blame but themselves really.

reader2010's picture

Romans used to say only slaves work.

sethstorm's picture

That's why employers all over the world prefer illegals and guest workers.  They're slaves in all practical sense by virtue of program design.

kchrisc's picture

I don't know about the short or intermediate term, but in the long term they rightfully take up arms.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

-- Declaration of Independence, 1776


The Four Rs
Rejection: Quit paying, quit obeying , quit playing
Revolution: It is inevitable, so prepare, as they are.
Retribution: Is there really any place for these sociopaths and criminals in a restored civil and Constitutional society?!
Restoration: Restore the Constitutional republic.



Pairadimes's picture

This is bullish for the black market in transplantable organs that people have more than one of.

Sword61's picture

Let me fix this for you "This is bullish for the black market in transplantable organs that other people have. "

And the other bits are "Soylet Green"

 Cash on the hoof I am sure Goldman can put a positive spin on the idea and we can list on the exchange. While they are breeding you can put them to work as well. Slave labour .... wait Banks are doing that bit by proxy already.


q99x2's picture

What's employment have to do with me. I live off the government.

yrbmegr's picture

This continues to happen because our tax code favors creating and trading paper over hiring employees.  Abolish the capital gains tax.  Treat capital gains like ordinary income.

pitz's picture

Things won't be fixed until the H-1B visa is abolished, the current H-1B and Green Card holders deported, and America's best and brightest talent allowed to get back to work throughout the economy.  There are millions of unemployed STEM workers who can easily take every position held by the foreigner scabs. 

As an aside, the deported H-1B's may very well start cleaning India up.  600 million people still practicing open defecation in that country. 

sethstorm's picture

Good start, but you'll have to dig deeper.  That means the reversion of immigration laws & regulations to pre-1965 Immigration Act conditions. 



newworldorder's picture

Not a chance of this happening unless there is open civil disobedience in the general population. Corporate, PAC, and Foundations money are large and prolific in keeping Congress focused on the Globalist agenda and not the needs of the American worker.