The Long-Term Unemployed – Demise of the Middle-Class

By DataAnalytics

While Congress and the most disappointing administration in decades praised their own
efforts and actions in seemingly lowering the U3 unemployment rate last Friday,
from a supposed 9% to a reported 8.6%, they ignored many negative glaring facts.

Indeed, the Private Sector added 120k net jobs, (revised down to 100k) but
-315 thousand workers gave up searching for jobs altogether, which is why the U3 rate dropped.
The U.S. is averaging approximately -350k first-time unemployment claims per week.
While only averaging about 125k jobs added per month. It takes at least 100k per month
just to keep the rate steady and a minimum of 200k per month to lower the UE rate.

Now on to the more disturbing and eye-opening statistics-
Long-Term Unemployment. The mean (or the average for those not familiar)
duration of unemployment in November 2010 was 34 weeks.
The mean duration of unemployment in November 2011 WAS a whopping 41 weeks.
A very sharp and alarming  increase of +7.1%.

Historically, the delta between the U3 and U6 rates has been approximately 3.9%. The spread has been up over 5% now. Another alarming data point is that 43% of all jobless persons are now the Long-Term unemployed. The U.S. is closing in on nearly half of the unemployed being out of work for a minimum of 27 weeks all the way up to 260 weeks.

Up until mid-year, the duration had been hovering in the 30 to 35 week range,
but has now made a significant jump since late 2010. What does that data reveal?
For one thing, unemployment is not easing or subsiding at all. In fact, it is worsening.

The BLS is simply deceiving the American public. The labor market is in
serious trouble and no one is tackling the problem head on. A lot of rhetoric and finger-pointing
from politicians, but no action. As the duration of the long-term unemployed keeps climbing,
so does the desperation and the continuing erosion of the middle-class.

Another interesting point to note is that the BLS changed the long-term
metric from 24 months or 100 weeks to 60 months or 260 weeks.

The take away here is that more and more workers are going without a job
for longer and longer periods of time. The negative results will be felt as purchasing power is reduced further and further. And, as household/consumer inflation keeps rising, the value of a dollar will keep sinking.

Our prediction is for a continuation of a depressed economy, more foreclosures
and higher commodity prices well into 2012. As it is, foodbanks and food pantry’s
are stretched to their limits. There are approximately 43 million people receiving food
stamps and 16 Million children in America living in poverty. Very sad and shameful indeed for
one of the most wealthiest nations in the free-world.

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