Long-Term Joblessness

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Sep 9 11:51:52 MDT 2002


Long-Term Joblessness Rose by 50% Over the Last Year
By DAVID LEONHARDT

TACOMA, Wash. -- Darrel Reiter had been out of work for nine months,
and his wife, Norma, had not worked in five months when they climbed
into their pickup truck to scour the West for jobs. But from Grand
Junction, Colo., to Carson City, Nev., to Pendleton, Ore., the news
was always the same, even if it came in different forms.


Their decades of experience in the work force did not make up for
their lack of bachelor's degrees. The $17-an-hour job that Mr. Reiter
had seen advertised actually paid $10.50 -- about a third of his old
wage at a manufacturing company -- after the cost of health insurance
and other benefits was deducted.

After nine days on the road that used up $1,000 of Mrs. Reiter's
retirement savings, the couple returned here in August still stuck in
the nation's large ranks of long-term unemployed. While the job market
remains unusually healthy for the end of a recession, with the
unemployment rate below 6 percent, the number of people who have been
jobless for months has climbed to a level more typical of a deep
downturn.

Almost three million people nationwide have been out of work for at
least 15 weeks, up more than 50 percent from a year ago. Half of them
have not worked in at least 6 months, the Department of Labor said.

full at: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/09/business/09JOB.html


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