Job-Seeking in a “Jobless” Recovery

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While the U.S. economy has grown slightly over the past year, more than 14 million Americans are out of work. Economists who don’t see the labor market improving in the near future call it a “jobless” recovery. The number of “discouraged workers” has gone up. In July the percentage of young Americans holding jobs was 48.9, the lowest rate on record since statistics began to be recorded in 1948. The problem is global; the United Nations reports that global youth unemployment is at an all-time high, with more than 80 million people ages 16 – 24 out of work.

Not only is work hard to find, but because of the ongoing slump in housing prices, more and more workers who might have considered a move to a better job market are stuck. About one-third of homeowners owe more on their mortgages than the value of their home, which limits their mobility as job-seekers. Their careers are grounded, because they would suffer a huge financial loss if they had to sell their house. Nationally this situation is making the labor market less efficient. In other words, employers and employees aren’t necessarily finding their best match.
Some job growth has occurred as a result of the federal government’s stimulus efforts—for example, the “Cash for Clunkers” program that encouraged car purchases, and the first-time homebuyer tax credit that spurred home sales. But the engine of the economy—consumer demand—is stuck in neutral, and so is job creation. Business owners see how reluctant consumers are to spend and so are slow to hire more workers.

Related Links

  • Unemployment Report Indicates “Jobless” Recovery
    This story discusses the nature of unemployment in terms of the “jobless” recovery from the recent recession.
    (Source: NPR, August 7, 2010)
  • Global Youth Unemployment at All Time High
    This report on global youth unemployment highlights the effects of the continuing recession in many parts of the world.
    (Source: VOA News, August 25, 2010)
  • Devalued Homes Anchor Prospective Job Seekers
    This story connects issues of unemployment, job-seeking, and the down housing market; includes an interactive U.S. map showing areas of the nation worst hit by falling housing prices.
    (Source: NPR, August 26, 2010)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    The Web site of the BLS includes vast amounts of official economic data on work and employment plus related stories to help make sense of it all.
    (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed September 1, 2010)
  • What Do You Like?
    News about unemployment can be discouraging, but it’s important, and never too soon, to be thinking about career choices; this interactive Web site introduces multiple occupations, answering questions like What is this job like? How much does this job pay? What about the future?
    (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; accessed August 31, 2010)
  • The Unemployment Game
    This online activity can help you learn to make sense of economic data like the unemployment rate and other statistics related to labor markets.
    (Source:; accessed August 31, 2010)


  1. jfk high school says:

    can anybody send some comment PLz

  2. Wangun says:

    The issue at hand is the bills in place did what many of us said it would. Cause job lsesos. Those job lsesos were results of tightened profit lines. Business owners need to make money and if they don’t they can’t pay themselves and pay their employees. Many business owners will sacrifice profits, but when profits go down, it takes cutting costs to reclaim money to invest into efficiency and become more profitable before anybody can be rehired. It is a difficult situation.People said Stop Job killing taxes, many are holding out, they haven’t files their retroactive returns yet or sent in the amendments to cover the costs. Many are hoping they can hold on to their workers a bit longer to sustain profits and hopefully cover the tax debts newly imposed onto them.People are faced with a difficult situation based on the majority opinions which lead to uneducated votes by people who have never employed a person in their life besides the neighbor kid to mow the lawn.This wasn’t unexpected. This is exactly the start. Some people are hesitant on unemployment, or are learning what to do to get it. Lay offs are still in progress. I believe the 70,000 number will, sadly , be smashed by reality. If I had the choice of laying people off I would first go to the parking lots and look for the YES on 66/67 stickers still foolishly left on the cars. Cause they obviously decided their job wasn’t important enough.