Job markets have been essentially flat since October. And, while the unemployment rate has slowly reduced back toward non-recession levels, the proportion of the working-age people with jobs is barely over 6 in 10. It hasn’t been that poor in over 30 years.
Where are the missing workers?!
According to an article by Tom Raum of Associated Press, it appears that significant numbers of long-time unemployed workers continue to give up the search and leave the workforce. And, Carl Van Horn, professor of public policy at Rutgers University where he studies workplace dynamics and employment trends, reports that, “they are disproportionately older workers.”
“We have a large number of older (unemployed) workers who are not old enough to retire, yet they are facing discrimination in the workplace and have found it nearly impossible to get another job,” says VanHorn.
Even here in the Washington, DC area where jobs are more plentiful and communicators have a better chance of employment success than in most parts of the country, once downsized it can be a year or more before senior level professionals find a new position. As forthose seasoned pros still looking – or contemplating giving up and going solo – PRofessional Solutions would welcome their applications to become temporary associates.
And according to the AP article, it may be unrealistic to hope that the jobless rate returns to 5 percent or below (the informal standard economists pointed to as a typical employment level outside of recession). In February 2011, economists at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank noted that the “new normal” might more likely be around 6 percent.
Even that would be welcome by some. Generation Opportunity, a U.S. nonpartisan youth advocacy organization which keeps close track of job levels for younger adults, reported even higher effective unemployment rates for those under 30. “My generation deserves better than an economy in which a 15.4 percent effective unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is considered a good month,” said Patrice Lee, director of outreach for the organization.