More than 20% of those who were laid off in last 4 years never found work again

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

The results of a new survey from Rutgers  put hard numbers to the terrible job market of the last four years. The survey found that of those who were laid off at some point in the last four years — which is 23 percent of adults — 22% still have not found work.

The good news is that of those who did get rehired, 35 percent found a job within six months, and just 10 percent took more than two years.

But while people over 55 were the least likely age group to have lost a job, they took far longer to get rehired. Nearly two-thirds either haven’t found work at all, or they searched for more than a year before landing a new job.

A majority of people who found another job, 54 percent, had to accept a lower salary. Another 22 percent received the same pay, and 24 percent found a new job that paid more.

Of those that took pay cuts, the split was a third, a third and a third at less than 10 percent, between 11 and 30 percent, and more than 30 percent. Nearly half took a job below their skill level or education.

Of those who are still looking for work, 31 percent exhausted their unemployment benefits.

Since nearly everyone knows someone personally who lost a job during the Great Recession and its aftermath, it’s not surprising that the survey reveals pessimism about the country’s future.

About two-thirds think the economy won’t get any better in 2013. And only 12 percent said the economy will fully recover in the next two years. The majority said it will take more than five years, or that America will never fully recover. Similarly, 61 percent said they personally will not fully recover financially.

Those surveyed think the government can’t reduce unemployment significantly. Still, more than 80 percent like the idea of giving tax credits to businesses that hire new workers, something that was done both nationally and in Connecticut.

Even though layoffs only hit one third of households at some point in the last four years, 56 percent of people said they have less in savings now than they did four years ago. And 38 percent said they have a lot less.

Almost 40 percent of people said they loaned money to family or friends. Three in ten increased their credit card debt, and 19 percent either received food stamps or visited a food bank.

The survey was conducted in January for Rutgers’ Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, and polled 1,090 adults around the country.The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

We welcome your stories in the comments.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.

12 thoughts on “More than 20% of those who were laid off in last 4 years never found work again

  1. alan

    this is why a government or education job is so valuable. I guess a long time ago these jobs payed less so gave security. But now at age 40 I see so many teachers and public/safety people my age who are making 90K or more..with no financial worries about retirement, no worries about layoffs(at age 40 they are untouchable). By the same token, UTC engineers that started off well have plateaued, ditto IT types, so they have no more income than a teacher PLUS a boatload of worries.

  2. JSul

    You hear stories all the time, of people who collect more on unemployment than they would with the new job they were offered. Where is the incentive to get a new job if you can collect more by not contributing at all? This welfare system we’ve established encourages people to be lazy and freeload off others. It’s ridiculous.

    1. Mara Lee Post author

      Well, this survey shows that three-quarters of people who qualified for UI found a new job while they were still collecting. So the large majority proved they’d rather work than collect — after all, even a 30 percent pay cut is more money than unemployment.
      And as the post says, 35 percent found a job within six months, the normal duration of unemployment when we’re not in a recession. The purpose of UI is to give people the breathing room to wait a few months, so they don’t have to take a job far below their previous job to keep from being homeless. The idea is that it doesn’t serve society for former social workers to become dishwashers, it’s better if they can do the work they were trained to do.

  3. Bill

    All you Obamaites – keep telling yourselves it would have been much worse with Barack – he saved the economy

  4. Kim

    I spent 2008-2009… seeking work, 40 hours a week. I was lucky my firm provided OutPlacement Svcs. Nothing could get my phone to ring. (20 years in financial services marketing.) Early 2010 I took a “temp” admin job… less than 25 hours per week. I was also doing my own “computer-geek” jobs, and cleaning houses! Thankfully fully re-employed, fincial services marketing as of June of 2012. So, in 4+ years… fully, gaingfully employed, unemployed, self-employed, and under-employed. Tough 4 years.

    1. art

      thank yo for your honesty. Again, if you were a school secretary, or DMV clerk, you would not have even been aware of a problem. And if an elem school teacher, or firefighter, your step raise and OT would be totally untouched.

  5. Mitch

    I don’t know why anyone should be concerned, President Obama is going to fix everything because he cares about us and he wants what’s best for the country he so loves.

    1. Medguy

      At least he won’t have a secretary of labor who pushes tax incentives for companies TO outsource jobs..Dumb Hick!

  6. Johnny 2 Dogs

    Pretty soon you’ll be born and your first diaper will be made in china. Ditto your coffin. If you are really unlucky, your Depends as well. We won’t last much longer if we stop making things here.

Comments are closed.