October 6, 2010


The past recession has hit the labor market especially hard. Over the course of the recession, the U.S. economy shrank by 4.15 percent. A total of 8.3 million jobs were lost, and the unemployment rate rose 4.7 percent to a peak of 10.1 percent in late 2009. Currently, more than 14.5 million people are officially unemployed and many are underemployed. More striking is the length of time that people remain unemployed. Unemployed workers stay out of work for 34 weeks on average now, about 50 percent longer than previous unemployment cycles.

These large affects on the shock of the labor market raise the question on how unemployment is likely to evolve during the recovery and the long run. I also would like to expose life on unemployment.


I want to focus on the negative impact of long-term unemployment on the workforce. Longer unemployment durations are a problem because unemployed workers who are unemployed for too long lose job- specific- skills. Losing skills can reduce their odds of finding a job during recovery.

Many signs point to a relatively slow adjustment for the labor market: the negative effects of the large pool of long term unemployed (due to skill loss), low demand for labor, as measured by job vacancies and openings and a relatively large pool of underemployed in the form of part time workers due to economic slack.

The obstacles are language barriers. Many people that come to the workforce center speak little English and some do not have cell phones or house phones because of their benefits were terminated. I will also mention how easy it is for the government to terminate your benefits and the three week grace period for it to be reinstated. You can imagine how hazardous that can be.

I will interview Jennifer Warsen of the Department of Labor Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions office. I will also interview family friends that are on unemployment into what their day-to-day struggle is.

Works Cited:

Book: “The Labor Market in the Great Recession” by Michael Elsby (Spring 2010)




Gawker.com/5072531/ tales-from-the-unemployment-line

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3 Responses to “Unemployment”

  1.   emi8990 Says:

    I think you have a good grasp on your topic and on what you plan to do. I think unemployment is a great issue to tackle because it is a very popular and very important issue in recent years. We can see that a great number of our population would be interested and would like to see change in this area. I agree with your concerns and do see how long term unemployment and language barriers can be harmful in helping people regain employment. I think you have great sources that will help you in your project. Do you have any idea of how we can make changes? What should be done and how can we go about doing so and get the government involved? Is this project just to bring awareness or do you plan on doing something more? This is a really great start. Keep it up Sabrina! =)

  2.   C.J. Mohammed-Bujan Says:

    Unemployment is a great topic to discuss since that is a major problem in our society today. Many people are getting layed off which leaves familys in distress with there bills and personal bsiness that they need to take care of. Focusing on the lomg term concerns of unemployment is great because in doing so you can tackle the issue where it would help people in the future instead of presently an just for a short term. You make many great points with the problems of unemployment with skills , low labor demands and people who speak little english. In interviewing someone from the department of labor division of employment you will be able to get an inside look at how the system operates. In learning how the people on the inside operate you may then be able to have a stronger agument how to find possible solutions for the problem.

  3.   Tim Marian Says:

    WOW, where to get started! Your embarking on a daunting task, the problem with unemployment in america is that it seems that it will be here for a while. The even bigger problem is that we as college students will be facing this problem head on when we have our degree in hand and are out looking for a job. I don’t think that at the moment language barriers are your biggest problems though, to be honest it seems like most people whether they speak english or not are having difficulty finding and holding jobs. The issue now is with this global slow down production and need of sources in America has slowed drastically. With the widening of trade imbalance and creation of deficit it is becoming harder and harder for even qualified individuals to get jobs. The main problem though isn’t that there is high unemployment but that it is continuing to grow, maybe you want to look into that and see ways in which you can combat unemployment for qualified individuals first because there are many people that have degrees and are on the unemployment line.

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