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Archive for Sunday, November 6, 2011

Most unemployed people no longer receiving benefits

November 6, 2011

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The jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America’s unemployed are no longer receiving unemployment benefits.

Early last year, 75 percent were receiving checks. The figure is now 48 percent — a shift that points to a growing crisis of long-term unemployment. Nearly one-third of America’s 14 million unemployed have had no job for a year or more.

Congress is expected to decide by year’s end whether to continue providing emergency unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks in the hardest-hit states. If the emergency benefits expire, the proportion of the unemployed receiving aid would fall further.

The ranks of the poor would also rise. The Census Bureau says unemployment benefits kept 3.2 million people from slipping into poverty last year. It defines poverty as annual income below $22,314 for a family of four.

Yet for a growing share of the unemployed, a vote in Congress to extend the benefits to 99 weeks is irrelevant. They’ve had no job for more than 99 weeks. They’re no longer eligible for benefits.

Their options include food stamps or other social programs. Nearly 46 million people received food stamps in August, a record total. That figure could grow as more people lose unemployment benefits.

So could the government’s disability rolls. Applications for the disability insurance program have jumped about 50 percent since 2007.

“There’s going to be increased hardship,” said Wayne Vroman, an economist at the Urban Institute.

The number of unemployed has been roughly stable this year. Yet the number receiving benefits has plunged 30 percent.

Government unemployment benefits weren’t designed to sustain people for long stretches without work. They usually don’t have to. In the recoveries from the previous three recessions, the longest average duration of unemployment was 21 weeks, in July 1983.

By contrast, in the wake of the Great Recession, the figure reached 41 weeks in September. That’s the longest on records dating to 1948. The figure is now 39 weeks.

“It was a good safety net for a shorter recession,” said Carl Van Horn, an economist at Rutgers University. It assumes “the economy will experience short interruptions and then go back to normal.”

Weekly unemployment checks average about $300 nationwide. If the extended benefits aren’t renewed, growth could slow by up to a half-percentage point next year, economists say.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that each $1 spent on unemployment benefits generates up to $1.90 in economic growth. The CBO has found that the program is the most effective government policy for increasing growth among 11 options it’s analyzed.

Comments

atiopatioo 3 years, 1 month ago

There is a new record in food stamps of 45.8 million too.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/04/pf/food_stamps_record_high/index.htm

All things considered. I guess it is to be expected. It's hard to hire someone when skyrocketing taxes, massive restrictive regulations and pending forced Obamacare is looming.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"It's hard to hire someone when skyrocketing taxes,"

Umm, taxes are at their lowest levels in many decades.

"massive restrictive regulations"

Yea, too bad that businesses aren't allowed to pollute with impunity, and treat their employees like the expendable drones that they are. By all means, let's become just like China.

"pending forced Obamacare is looming."

For all its shortcomings, it actually presents a slight improvement for most businesses.

verity 3 years, 1 month ago

"(we've all met many of them throughout our lives) who proclaim "I'll never work in physical labor".

Really? I've lived in at least eight different states in my 60+ years and I've never heard anyone say that, let alone many. We must run in completely different circles.

independent_rebel 3 years, 1 month ago

Have you been reading the articles about the lack of farm workers in Alabama?

Government entitlements have made people soft. It's easier to live off of others than to work at entry-level positions.

independent_rebel 3 years, 1 month ago

Have you been reading the articles about the lack of farm workers in Alabama?

Government entitlements have made people soft. It's easier to live off of others than to work at entry-level positions.

independent_rebel 3 years, 1 month ago

Easy. The government is to blame. Oh, and the moochers who vote those politicians in who support this farce. Never should a welfare check and/or entitlements provide for a better life than even a minimum wage job.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow. Talk about elitist. I'm with Verity. If you think "many people" won't "work in physical labor" than you run in a lot different circles than I do. And I would say those circles have never done a single day's work in a blue collar profession in their lives themselves and have no idea what real "work" is. I grew up in a blue collar family. Every current member of it, with the exception of one or two who work in offices, work in blue collar jobs where they get "dirt under their fingernails". They are plumbers, truck drivers, auto mechanics, professional gardeners, restaurant cooks; you name it. They work. And they want to work. And we run in circles with people that are the same. So, Mr. Smarty Pants, why don't you go get a job doing physical labor and see how it feels? Heck, you may even find you like it! Oh wait, you obviously make enough money that you don't have to, Mr. Privelege. You can pay other people to do it for you. I know this beyond a question of a doubt because otherwise you wouldn't have this stupid attitude.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

And Republican plans to push the retirement age to 67, and likely beyond if they can, will hit those who performed hard labor most of their working lives.

Republicans couldn't care less about hard labor and those who perform it.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

It's not elitist. While I won't say I would never do manual labor, maybe some day it will be that or die. However, I will say I'll have to be really hard up to pick tomatoes or dig ditches.

You can't call me elite because I have a sorta white collar version of a blue collar job. That's mainly because I'm old and have a tired back, but also because I can do some things my peers can't.

Kat Christian 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree with you pretaining to younger folks, but when you're in your 60s its easier said than done. Older folks don't have the stamnia to stand for hours or do heavy lifting on a daily basis. So jobs are limited which includes businesses not wanting to hire older populations. Think about that.

Getaroom 3 years, 1 month ago

The only whining I am aware of is coming right out of the mouth of is it's_just_math and atiopattioo. What will people like you do when it is your turn to be out of work, too old, unskilled, or over educated (although I can see that is unlikely), out of money and other resources, jobs offered require a vehicle and you sold yours to buy food, no health insurance, not able to do hard labor due to injury or age and job opportunities have dried up because the job creators shipped everything to China? I get it, you will do anything necessary to get dirt under your nails - even if you have to move to China to snag one. Most of the people I know personally who are out of work and been looking for a long time and are not even close to being deadbeats. The opposite actually This brand of social darwinism you are practicing and worshiping is so telling. Guess neither of you have experienced first hand, yet, the sting of income inequity and joblessness brought to you buy none other than the ones you praise. Keep that DVR tuned to channel Beck and Limbaugh and Fake News, bury your gold in the back yard. Oh, that's right you don't need no stinking gold, you got jobs!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

On the one hand, Republicans tell us that all these people are unemployed because they are lazy slackers coddled by the government.

On the other hand, they tell us that they are unemployed because the $2 trillion in cash that "job creators" are sitting on isn't enough to create jobs for the lazy slackers. So despite 3 decades of substantial tax reductions for the wealthiest of the wealthy, only further tax reductions for these folks will put the lazy slackers back to work.

No logical disconnects in this line of "thinking," are there?

pace 3 years, 1 month ago

Well said and to the point. The bought and paid for politics clamor for tax cuts for the "job creators". I don't believe the tax cuts have created or saved jobs, just made the rich richer.

geekin_topekan 3 years, 1 month ago

I think that tax breaks for the uber-rich should be in proportion to the number of jobs they actually create, otherwise a rebate should be in order-- if that is in fact the reason we feel they should receive tax breaks for eternity. Hell, we even stop praying to Jesus after enough bad stuff happens, at least the rational side of us does.

I've managed to pull myself out from under the bridge, with a bottle of mouthwash under my arm, to having two PT jobs while tending to the 17hours that I decided I could handle. And I'm old.

I understand the horror of seeing your longterm dedication sent to China leaving you in your skivvies but their is plenty of work out there, if you choose to do it. With all the hoohaw over immigration, we've managed to place farmers at great risk of losing their crops; I don't see an exodus toward the northwest to fill their shoes and save our fresh food budget.

I will continue to watch the "job creators" and what they do with the redistributed wealth. After graduate studies, mmm, I should be ready to face their new creation in three to four years. Or do they need more time and breaks than that?

verity 3 years, 1 month ago

"I think that tax breaks for the uber-rich should be in proportion to the number of jobs they actually create, otherwise a rebate should be in order-- if that is in fact the reason we feel they should receive tax breaks for eternity."

What he/she said.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"I think that tax breaks for the uber-rich should be in proportion to the number of jobs they actually create, otherwise a rebate should be in order-- if that is in fact the reason we feel they should receive tax breaks for eternity."

Yep, and, in fact, it's already that way. Anything any business does to create jobs is a legitimate business expense, and therefore is tax deductible.

So what they really want is tax deductions/cuts for shoving the money in their pockets, or spending it on an expansion on their McMansion, and not for "job creation."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"There are plenty of jobs"

If so, then the "job creators" don't really need any further tax reductions, right?

pace 3 years, 1 month ago

One of your more logical statements.

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

The point of the article, BornAgainAmerican, is that a majority of the unemployed aren't receiving unemployment benefits. So any wages they would earn would be more than their unemployment benefits, which are zero. Are you still convinced that such people wouldn't take a job if they could find one?
Are there lazy unemployed people? Yes, of course. And they wallow in poverty. Why begrudge them the tiny bit they have? Are there lazy employed people? Yes, of course. And they wallow in wealth. Why entitle them to everything they've got but haven't earned?

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

BornAgainAmerican, I'll take that response to mean that you can't think of a counter-argument based on logic and evidence, so you're reduced to casting inarticulate aspersions.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

And this..this is what will win the Dems the seats next election. 17 million people are unemployed. Of those, only 43% are now drawing UI benefits. The other 57% either didn't qualify (which is a small percentage) or have dropped off the rolls. The end of October saw the largest number of people drop off the UI rolls in over a decade. And believe me, it wasn't because they found jobs. Just don't think that next November people won't remember that it was the GOP, not the Dems, who voted against jobs bills three times. By and large people are short sighted but it's hard to see past the end of your nose when it's being ground into the dirt. Scream about the "deficit" and "tax breaks" and "Keynesian economics" ad nauseum. When someone who wants and needs a job can't find one, and they can't feed themselves or their kids, they WILL vote with their bellies.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

Rush, Rush, Rush, tell that to the people I know who have (literally) put in over a hundred applications for everything from McDonalds and clerking at Dollar General to walking dogs and changing oil. They would laugh you right off the planet. That's not "motivation". That's "depression". (No pun intended.)

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

Vangent will usually hire temps after a while (I know someone that works there, and no it isn't me). OTOH, I hear that working for Vangent is somewhat akin to being Polish in a Nazi prison camp.

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

Many of the Occupy Wall Street folks actually do have jobs; they come in their off-work hours to show support.
Lots of the unemployed would gladly work at two part-time jobs, if they could find them.
I'll bet that the people of your acquaintance who work at two part-time jobs would prefer to have one 40-hour per week job at a living wage, with health insurance and pension benefits. Those sorts of jobs used to be the norm for the US, and its completely reasonable for Americans to call upon corporations to create that sort of job at home.

tbaker 3 years, 1 month ago

The longer someone is eligible for unemployment benefits, the longer they will be unemployed. Research shows that about one-third of unemployed workers find a new job as soon as their benefits run out. The unemployment insurance system is also unfair to low-earning part-time workers because they have to bear part of the burden of a system that does not benefit them if they lose their job. They will have contributed to the system in their payroll taxes, yet they won’t be able to collect. UI imposes costs on all workers, but benefits only some. This is a common theme with government benefit programs—they create winners and losers in society. Personal UI savings accounts would eliminate this problem. Getting rid of the minimum wage would help a lot too. Another example of government failure making people suffer.

voevoda 3 years, 1 month ago

Eliminating minimum wage would guarantee that many workers could not feed their families or keep a roof over their heads even if they worked 60 hours a week. That's the way it was before the minimum wage was instituted. So eliminating the minimum wage would make a lot of hard-working Americans the losers while the employers would get rich off their labor. Those aren't the winners and losers I'd like to see in our society.

tbaker 3 years, 1 month ago

Completely false voevoda. Every time the minimum wage is raised, there is a corresponding increase in unemployment. Ever wonder why Burger King in Lawrence pays $8.06 p/hr starting wage, and not the $7.50 minimum wage? Simple. The labor market in Lawrence set that rate. BK can’t find or keep the kind of employee they want for any less. The minimum wage MAKES losers / hurts workers, most especially the young and unskilled because the labor costs it imposes on business prevent the creation of low-paying jobs they could otherwise qualify for. The teenage unemployment rate is at historic, unprecedented highs in our country. 52% right now - and worse for minorities in this demographic. This past summer was the worst ever on record for the 16-24 year old age group. Economic analysis has demonstrated few things as clearly as the effects of the minimum wage creates unemployment among the least skilled workers by raising wage rates above free market, yet liberals insist on clinging to this idea so they can feel good about helping the very people that are being hurt by this terrible law. If the minimum wage was done away with tomorrow, do you think Burger King would lower their $8.06 p/hr starting wage? Set aside your ideology for a minute and do some research. See for yourself.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

This is nothing but pure ideologically based assertion.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

There wasn't a single fact there. Pure assertion. You should learn to tell the difference.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

"Getting rid of the minimum wage would help a lot too" Yeah. So we can turn into another China and make people work for slave wages in sweat shops. Why don't we get rid of child labor laws while we're at it? Then we can send those pesky little rug rats to work in the mines and do hand sewing until their sight fails for 15 thousand dollar dresses. I mean, my gosh, we're getting rid of abortion. Now that they're out of the womb we have to do SOMETHING with them so we don't have to support their sorry little a**es.

tbaker 3 years, 1 month ago

Strawman fail. Read my reply to voevoda.

tbaker 3 years, 1 month ago

Strawman fail. Read my reply to voevoda.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

I worked with homeless adults a number of decades ago (in another state). I was shocked at how many said all the right things; "I want a job", "I just need a chance", etc., but then went out and acted in ways that would guarantee a negative outcome. After a few years, it became obvious that allowing them to make decisions concerning their lives was a bad solution. And having me, or staff/counselors making decisions was something none of us was comfortable with. So I left the field and opened my own business. I even hired some of those homeless adults I had become acquainted with at the homeless program. Every one of those hires turned out badly. Back in my early 20's, I thought I had the answer to problems like these. Now, after several decades of experience, I'm certain that I don't have the slightest clue as to what the solution is.

ivalueamerica 3 years, 1 month ago

For every job available, there are 4 unemployed people that needs one. That means if every single unemployed took a job, even if it is below poverty level, 3 out of 4 would remain unemployed.

And the GOP keeps blocking job progress, making this a situation that will only get worse.

ivalueamerica 3 years, 1 month ago

Almost every individual proposal in the Obama jobs bill that they refuse to pass was previously submitted by the GOP in bits and pieces over the last 8 years.

Now suddenly they oppose it.

The only logical reason is partisanship has won out over serving their country.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

O.K., I'll bite. I'm going back almost 4 decades, to my freshman year at K.U. I took an Economics class (101 I believe). The Professor gave a stat then that I'm not sure if it still is valid, but let me throw it out there anyway. He said that at any give time, there will be 3-5% unemployment. He said it was normal and consisted of people who were unemployed voluntarily for a variety of reasons. It might be someone who has just left one job and is waiting for the next job to begin. Given that, an unemployment figure of 3-5% unemployment should be considered full employment. Of course, today's unemployment figures are higher than that, meaning there are more unemployed than jobs available, but maybe not quite as high as 4 unemployed for every job, as ivalueamerica suggests. Then factor in my comment just above. There is a certain number of people who "say" they are legitimately unemployed and wanting to work, yet work in ways that undermine their own ability to become employed. Like the 3-5%, they too are voluntarily unemployed. Instead of 4 unemployed people for every job, I suspect the number is lower. That said, if the job is picking produce in Alabama and the unemployed person resides in Boston, there is a disconnect that no one, Democrat or Republican can fix.

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