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AP: Discouraged Workers Leaving The Workforce

From the Associated Press:

Dropouts: Discouraged Americans leave labor force

Dropouts: Discouraged Americans are giving up the job hunt for school, retirement, disability

By Paul Wiseman and Jesse Washington | Sat, Apr 6, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a full year of fruitless job hunting, Natasha Baebler just gave up.

She’d already abandoned hope of getting work in her field, working with the disabled. But she couldn’t land anything else, either — not even a job interview at a telephone call center.

Even though, at least according to the rolls at SSDI, we have more disabled people than ever. Such as herself:

Until she feels confident enough to send out resumes again, she’ll get by on food stamps and disability checks from Social Security and live with her parents in St. Louis.

"I’m not proud of it," says Baebler, who is in her mid-30s and is blind. "The only way I’m able to sustain any semblance of self-preservation is to rely on government programs that I have no desire to be on."

Baebler’s frustrating experience has become all too common nearly four years after the Great Recession ended: Many Americans are still so discouraged that they’ve given up on the job market.

Older Americans have retired early. Younger ones have enrolled in school. Others have suspended their job hunt until the employment landscape brightens. Some, like Baebler, are collecting disability checks.

But only because they are blind, you see. There are no slackers.

It isn’t supposed to be this way. After a recession, an improving economy is supposed to bring people back into the job market.

The hell you say. But why is the AP just noticing this now?

Instead, the number of Americans in the labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one — fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, the government said Friday. And the percentage of working-age adults in the labor force — what’s called the participation rate — fell to 63.3 percent last month. It’s the lowest such figure since May 1979.

The falling participation rate tarnished the only apparent good news in the jobs report the Labor Department released Friday: The unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 in February.

People without a job who stop looking for one are no longer counted as unemployed. That’s why the U.S. unemployment rate dropped in March despite weak hiring. If the 496,000 who left the labor force last month had still been looking for jobs, the unemployment rate would have risen to 7.9 percent in March…

Part of the drop reflects the baby boom generation’s gradual move into retirement. But such demographics aren’t the whole answer.

Even Americans of prime working age — 25 to 54 years old — are dropping out of the workforce. Their participation rate fell to 81.1 percent last month, tied with November for the lowest since December 1984…

Cynthia Marriott gave up her job search after an interview in October for a position as a hotel concierge.. Her husband hasn’t worked full time since 2006. She cashed out her 401(k) after being laid off from a job at a Los Angeles entertainment publicity firm in 2009. The couple owes thousands in taxes for that withdrawal. They have no health insurance.

She got the maximum 99 weeks’ of unemployment benefits then allowed in California and then moved to Atlanta.

Now she is looking to receive federal disability benefits for a lung condition that she said leaves her weak and unable to work a full day. The application is pending a medical review…

She will surely get it.

Young people are leaving the job market, too. The participation rate for Americans ages 20 to 24 hit a 41-year low 69.6 percent last year before bouncing back a bit…

Many older Americans who lost their jobs are finding refuge in Social Security’s disability program. Nearly 8.9 million Americans are receiving disability checks, up 1.3 million from when the recession ended in June 2009

All of which we have been reporting for years. But, apparently, the AP is always the last to know.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, April 8th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “AP: Discouraged Workers Leaving The Workforce”

  1. I’ll say ‘disabled’.

    http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/21.....ronics-wet

    this is how far from a road they were

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/81200357

    Our population is turning into skulls of numb. I’m beginning to think gun confiscation will work, along with a total nanny stste


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