Demographic characteristics of individuals experiencing long-term labor market hardship, including the long-term unemployed, discouraged workers, marginally attached workers, and workers who are part-time for economic reasons.
"In this paper, we attempt to paint a demographic portrait of long-term hardship in the labor market. We display various measures of long-term hardship by race and gender, education, and age. In addition to the conventional long-term unemployment rate, we also show a broader measure that captures further dimensions of long-term hardship. This additional measure is the Bureau of Labor Statistic's ‘U-6’ alternative unemployment rate, which adds ‘discouraged’ workers, (people who are not in the labor force because they don't think any work is available), the ‘marginally attached,’ (people who have stopped looking but haven't specific a lack of jobs as the reason), and workers who are ‘part-time for economic reasons’ to the official unemployment rate" (p. 1-2). (Abstractor: Author and website manager).

Major Findings & Recommendations

" - More than two years of historically high long-term unemployment rates have already exacted a substantial individual and societal cost. The recovery – officially underway since the summer of 2009 – has provided almost no relief for those experiencing long-term hardship, even as the overall unemployment rate has started to fall. - The standard measure of long-term unemployment ignores large groups of workers experiencing long-term hardship, including ‘discouraged workers,’ (people who are currently not in the labor force, but who want a job, are available to work, and have looked for work in the last year, but have since given up looking because they don’t think any work is available), the ‘marginally attached,’ (a group that also would like to work, is available to work, and has searched for a job in the last year, but has stopped searching, without specifying a lack of jobs as the reason for giving up) and many of those who are in part-time work, but want to work full-time. - by whichever measure – the standard long-term unemployment rate or an expanded ‘long-term hardship’ measure, based on the U-6 rate – the data also show that the burden of long-term joblessness is borne unevenly. Blacks and Latinos, less-educated workers, and younger workers are all much more likely to be unemployed, long-term unemployed, ‘discouraged,’ ‘marginally attached,’ or involuntarily part-time, with terrible consequences for these groups’ current and future economic, social, and health outcomes". (p.11) (Abstractor: Author)