Help Not Wanted
The economy is now in "recovery" mode, though you'd hardly know it from the job market. Unemployment is still hovering near 10%. And long-term unemployment hasn't been this bad since the 1940s, when the government started keeping track. Every measure is off the charts: the average duration of unemployment; the percentage of people who have been job-hunting for more than 6 months; the ratio of available jobs to job-seekers.
And the economy isn't creating nearly enough jobs at this point to absorb new entrants into the workforce, let alone re-employ the 7 million Americans who were laid off in the Great Recession. Some of these people worked for decades -- and honed their skills and educations -- in fields that will likely never rebound to previous employment levels. Finance, auto manufacturing and retailing, real estate, home construction -- all of these industries are in for years of restructuring and slow- or no-growth.
All this means that historically high unemployment -- and persistently long-lasting unemployment -- will likely hang on for years to come. Our series “Help Not Wanted” tells the stories of people who are struggling through this economic restructuring. And it explores the financial, social and entrepreneurial impacts of this new job shortage on workers and families, communities and companies.