Three weeks ago, a relative suffered a traumatic injury from a bad accident. It didn’t look good, when he was first transported to the hospital. He suffered greatly from pain. But, through it all, I’ve been observing him fight back and endure with a strength no human gives.
Through my observations of his experience, I couldn’t help but reflect on the trauma of unemployment.
The job market has changed severely since the Great Recession (though massive layoffs occurred before). The United States’ unemployment rate still hovers at 5.0% (4.9% in the UK). What also hasn’t changed much, as recently reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the number of ‘unemployed persons’: 7.9 million.
Without question, this is a significant number of people dealing with unemployment. And the number of ‘long-term unemployed persons’ (those without jobs for 27 weeks or more) is worth noting: 2.0 million people.
Kevin Meyer, Public Affairs Specialist at the U. S. Department of Labor, shared his long-term unemployment story in a piece on the Department of Labor’s blog. The piece is entitled, Long-Term Unemployment, A Problem That Hits Home.
Meyer published this piece after attending the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development’s roundtable discussion in New Jersey. Several older, long-term unemployed professionals in New Jersey discussed their circumstances and searches for employment with the US Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, his staff, and other officials during this discussion.