Where Have All the Jobs Gone?

We all know it’s tough finding a job right now. For some, it’s easy, for most, it is very challenging to say the least, especially during this Great Recession. Rutgers University has recently released a paper called The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in their Futures about the unemployed, the underemployed, what they expect to happen in the future, how they are cutting costs, among other things. Needless to say, confidence is shaken at the moment.

The following is a summary discription of the paper in an email that was sent to me. Here are links to the paper itself and the press release. Although it numbers 45 pp, most of the paper consists of tables, charts and graphs. The paper itself is approximately 15 pp worth of reading.


A new survey of unemployed American workers documents dramatic erosion in the quality of life for millions of Americans. Their financial reserves are exhausted, their job prospects nil, their family relations stressed, and their belief in government’s ability to help them is negligible. They feel hopeless and powerless, unable to see their way out of the Great Recession that has claimed 8.5 million jobs.

The survey shows that only one-quarter of those first interviewed in August 2009 have found full-time jobs some 15 months later. And most of those who have become reemployed have taken jobs they did not really want for less pay. Moreover, the recession has wreaked havoc on the retirement plans of older workers. These are some of the main findings of The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in their Futures, a new report from the Heldrich Center. The Heldrich Center first interviewed a national sample of 1,202 unemployed workers in August 2009, using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel® conducted by Knowledge Networks of Menlo Park, CA. Just over 900 were re-interviewed in March 2010, and 764 were re-interviewed between November 5 and 28, 2010 for this report.

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