With the nation still reeling from the continuing effects of the recent global recession, the long-term employment rate among Americans still remains obstinately high.
According to a Pew Charitable Trusts study released on Thursday, January 27, the unemployed 30% of the 14 million Americans have bee suffering unemployment for more than a year already. This is a huge increase of 25% over the last year. When translated to estimated figures, this means that 4.2 million Americans, or roughly the total population of Kentucky, do not have jobs for a long time now. Among these unemployed workers, over 40% are aged 55 and above.
And even if there is a long-term unemployed rate decrease of 200,000 in December 2010 from August 2010, the good news offered little relief. Also, the situation could be worsened by the decline in the amount of federal money spent on unemployment insurance benefits, according to the Congressional Budget Office's data. Spending on short-term and long-term unemployment benefits will decrease by $30 billion from fiscal year 2010, to only $129 billion in fiscal year 2011.
The decline was caused by denial of the benefits to Americans who have been unemployed for more than 99 weeks, and by the expiration of a stipulation in the Recovery Act that provides a $25 weekly supplement benefit.
According to an analysis of federal records by CNN, unemployed people have claimed up to $319 billion in unemployment insurance benefits over the past three years, which is when the Great Recession has sent the global economy paralyzed and reeling.