After receiving horrible approval numbers in a recent CNN poll, this can’t be good news for Cap’n Pigfucker:
From The New York Times
After three years of unemployment, Allen Gruenhut finally landed a job as director of human resources for a company in the stone business on Long Island. His age, 53, worked against him in his long hunt for work, he contends, and so did the six-figure salary he earned at his previous job, in banking.
“They would not take me seriously at job interviews when I said I would be happy with a lower salary,” Gruenhut said.
Jackie Ellenwood, 31, is still without a job. She had worked for three travel agencies over 13 years, until her last job, in Allen Park, Mich., ended in a layoff nine months ago. The industry is shrinking in response to more Internet bookings and cutbacks in corporate travel, so Ellenwood is looking for work elsewhere and studying to become a nurse.
The experiences of Gruenhut and Ellenwood help explain why many of the nation’s unemployed are still struggling to get back to work. Not since World War II has the percentage of long-term joblessness — the unemployed out of work for six months or more — been so high for so long after a recession has ended.
The current trouble falls most heavily on people trapped by the shifting sands of the economy. Today, the unemployment rate is relatively low, at 5.2 percent, and overall hiring has started to pick up again, particularly for younger workers coming out of college and professional schools. But the presence of middle-aged women and better-educated white-collar workers among the long-term unemployed has increased.
“There are just not new jobs being created in the things these people did before,” said Andrew Stettner, a policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project and co-author of a study of long-term unemployment. “We are firing fewer people than we did in 2001 and 2002, but we are not hiring many people either, and that cuts off the exit route out of unemployment.”
The baby-boomer bulge working its way through the labor force also plays a role. As this large group of workers ages, it becomes harder for some who lose their jobs to find new work suited to their skills. And the bursting of the high-tech bubble stranded thousands of workers who are finding it difficult to shift quickly to other fields.
Structural changes in the economy and productivity improvements, reflecting the ability of companies to achieve higher output with fewer or the same number of workers, mean that even growing businesses no longer need to dip as much into the pool of displaced workers.