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Left Behind: The Long-term Unemployed Struggle in an Improving Economy

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A new Heldrich Center analysis of unemployed and long-term unemployed Americans reveals the profound struggles of Americans who remained jobless for months and years even as the economy gradually recovers. The survey reveals that more than 7 in 10 of the long-term unemployed say they have less in savings and income than they did five years ago; more than 8 in 10 of the long-term unemployed rate their personal financial situation negatively as only fair or poor; more than 6 in 10 unemployed and long-term unemployed say they experienced stress in family relationships and close friendships during their time without a job; 55 percent of the long-term unemployed say they will need to retire later than planned because of the recession, while 5 percent say the weak economy forced them into early retirement; and nearly half of the long-term unemployed say it will take 3 to 10 years for their families to recover financially, while another 1 in 5 say it will take longer than that or that they will never recover.

The survey was conducted between July 24 and August 3, 2014 by the Heldrich Center with a nationally representative sample of 1,153 Americans, including a sample of 394 unemployed workers looking for work, 389 Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months or who were unemployed for a period of more than six months at some point in the last five years, and 463 individuals who currently have jobs.

Work Trends Surveys
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Great Recession
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