Saturday, July 31, 2010

Impact of Long-Term Unemployment

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, long-term unemployment takes a much greater toll on a person's emotional state, finances and career prospects as compared to short-term unemployment.

For the study, 2,967 adults were interviewed in May of this year. Of that group, 810 were either currently unemployed, or were jobless for at least some period of time since December of 2007. Those who had been unemployed for at least six months had experienced higher levels of "major change" in their lives as a result of the recession than those who had been unemployed for less than six months.

The study showed several areas of life that are impacted by a long period of joblessness.

* Family finances: Not surprisingly, those who had been unemployed longer (six months or more) saw more of a decline in their family income, with 56 percent seeing a decline compared to 42 percent who had been unemployed for less than three months. Even those who had not had any break in their employment reported a 26 percent drop in their household income in the past 18 months.

* Relationships: Strained family relations and loss of contact with close friends were reported at a higher rate by those who had been jobless for six months or more.

* Career goals: Over four-in-ten (43%) of the long-term unemployed said the recession has had a "big impact" on their ability to achieve their long-term career goals.

* Emotional impact: Those who had been unemployed for longer periods of time were more likely to report that they were struggling with such issues as loss of self respect, doubt about being in the right career, lowered expectations and feeling pessimistic about the future.

For the complete report visit Pew Research Center.

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