Unemployment study offers bleak picture

A new nationwide study conducted by Rutgers University paints a bleak picture of jobless Americans. Many participants are still struggling with long-term unemployment.

The Rutgers University Heldrich Center study followed several hundred unemployed men and women for two years.

Perhaps the dimmest low-light of the survey is that half of the participants have remained jobless the whole time. The study also shows that 75 percent have been unemployed for at least six months.

“We’re at a place that we’ve never been. Not since the Depression in terms of how many being out of work for how long,” said Cliff Zukin, a Rutgers professor and a co-author of “Out of Work and Losing Hope.”

Of the 40 percent who’ve found jobs, very few have secured full-time positions. And only 57 percent of those earning a paycheck believe they have found permanent work.

To make do, most have started spending less on food. A third of those in the study have given up something they used to consider “essential.”

So is there any silver lining? Zukin says not really.

“You look at all the numbers we have and all the questions we’ve asked and there really is not a break from the misery,” he said. “It just is flat-lined across the board.”

The national unemployment recently rose to 9 percent.

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