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.