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Unemployment: What Are the Big Trends?

Unemployment rate improves as long-term unemployment persists.

Written by Dan Fastenberg, AOL Jobs

Five years on, the financial crash is no longer a fresh trauma. But its damage is far from resolved. So as the country gears up for 2014, where do the economy and jobs landscape stand?

The Wall Street Journal produced a video (see below) surveying the economy and as the video attests, the economy has seen recovery from the worst pits it reached in 2010. Back then, the unemployment rate stood as high as 10 percent; at latest tally in November, the figure stood at 7.0 percent, as was documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But as Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the liberal and non-profit Washington D.C.-based research organization, the Economic Policy Institute, recently told AOL Jobs, "We've actually made very few improvements to the labor market. You also have to consider all the jobs we should have been adding over these past five years, instead of trying to recoup the jobs that have been lost."

Indeed, one group of workers who continue to suffer are the long-term unemployed, a group whose size is hard to track due to the reality that many have pulled themselves out of the labor market. But as AOL Jobs reported last month, studies have pegged the total to stand at 4.1 million workers.

The suspicion that these workers are discriminated against in the labor market is not paranoia; research conducted by Rand Ghayad, a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, found recently unemployed job candidates had better luck at landing gigs than qualified workers who have been out of work for longer. In total, Ghayad sent out a total of 4,800 dummy applications, and he found the recently unemployed got call-backs between nine and 16 percent of the time. For the qualified who have been out of work more than six months? One to three percent of the time.
McCloud December 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM
One big trend is the loss of 10 million jobs since Obama's inauguration, despite supposed stimulus of a trillion, trillions printed by the Fed as IOU's, and now double our national debt under Obama. I'd say Obama may be the most failed President in history, but he's just getting started with Obamacare and new levels are approaching.
Walter White December 11, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Nah, that title would go to the guy who oversaw the worst financial crisis the world has even seen..immediately prior to Obama's inauguration.
McCloud December 11, 2013 at 02:36 PM
What does oversaw mean?
D'skidoc December 11, 2013 at 03:05 PM
McC forgets that cause comes BEFORE effect. Obama was left to pick up the pieces AFTER the collapse which occurred under the watch of his predecessor. And where does this 10M # come from? Pulled out of the old arse, I'd say. If the R's had allowed the government to pick up more of the employment slack over the past 5 years, we would be in a much better place as far as the overall job situation is concerned, and we'd have more teachers, firefighters, and probably not just a few new bridges and roads too.
McCloud December 11, 2013 at 03:14 PM
No, the BEFORE effect on the collapse came from the Clinton admin. He created the housing bubble. The 10 M # comes from the US Labor Department. The government you speak of is already over the cliff in debt, and employing people in shovel ready jobs has already been done. Good grief!
Walter White December 11, 2013 at 03:35 PM
LOL.
D'skidoc December 11, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Actually the war on the have-nots started with RR. Real income growth for the middle class ended in the 1970s, and the poverty rate which dropped substantially after Johnson has remained about 15% ever since. Now with increased unemployment the poor are screwed even more.
McCloud December 11, 2013 at 03:56 PM
You mean when the interest rates went from 26% to 5%, and unemployment fell from 15% to 5% under RR? Your're probably speaking of RR to switch the atrocities the current President is responsible for. Throw in a Koch brother, and I swear you could get your own show on 820AM.
McCloud December 11, 2013 at 04:14 PM
All you can do as a liberal is move the goal posts after failure of your dream legislation. Stimulus failed? No problem wasn't large enough. Obamacare failure, no worries we can get single payer. Unemployment? This one is easy, shrink the universe of jobs and you get a smaller index, looks good in bold headlines. When all else fails, blame Bush, WMDs and throw a Cheney joke in for good measure.
Walter White December 11, 2013 at 04:41 PM
I would never disrespect President Cheney.
McCloud December 11, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Chicago's pension funds for city workers, police officers and firefighters are about $19.5 billion short of what's needed to meet its current obligations. (AP) This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Chicago teachers walk walking a picket line outside a... Full Image The shortfall amounts to about $7,100 per Chicago resident. That's nearly eight times the per person cost of the unfunded pension liability in Detroit, a city that saw its population plummet in the years before it went into bankruptcy earlier this year. Add in the unfunded liability for Chicago teacher pensions, and the total shortfall jumps to about $27 billion. Sure, lets hire more government workers and may Detroit can bail us out.
D'skidoc December 11, 2013 at 05:45 PM
What do unfunded pensions have to do with Reagan's demonizing the poor (welfare queens) and the fact that the minimum wage never was adjusted for inflation, or that real wages for working folks have been stagnant while the top earners have seen their take rise over 250%? Also Detroit, which got screwed both ways by the "emergency dictator", Chicago and Illinois (arguably one of the worst run states on the financial side) aren't the Federal Govt. and you, like always, try to play the false equivalence game. I really shouldn't waste any more of my time addressing your litany of random non-sequiturs. (oops...that was redundant). I wouldn't want to diss President Cheney either, but that's a story for another (oops no WMD) time. Then of course there's the "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran" contingent. Put "er there Muammar
McCloud December 11, 2013 at 07:04 PM
You bring up Reagan, Cheney and WMDs' to excuse the failure in the white house and I'm being accused of the non sequitur? You should have your head examined. Whens the next War on (fill in the blank) starting. Demonizing the poor? When did that happen, after full employment was reached in the 1980s? You are merely another in a long line of worker party kooks who want higher minimum wage prices as more and more workers are priced out of a job.

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