For anybody hoping to enjoy their weekend, the NYT instead ran some sobering statistics about what the jobless are facing: formerly middle class, the “new poor” are now relying on food stamps with years of unemployment behind them and no future prospects in sight.
The reasons for this are after the jump (hint: now is a good time to reach for that second beer).
- 6.3 million Americans have been unemployed for six months or longer, the largest number since the government began keeping track in 1948. That is more than double the toll in the next-worst period, in the early 1980s.
- Labor experts say the economy needs 100,000 new jobs a month just to absorb entrants to the labor force. With more than 15 million people officially jobless, even a vigorous recovery is likely to leave an enormous number out of work for years.
- Roughly 2.7 million jobless people will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless Congress approves the Obama administration’s proposal to extend the payments, according to the Labor Department.
- Automation has helped manufacturing cut 5.6 million jobs since 2000 — the sort of jobs that once provided lower-skilled workers with middle-class paychecks.