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NYT/CBS Poll Finds Joblessness Trauma

From a suddenly concerned New York Times:

Poll Reveals Trauma of Joblessness in U.S.

By MICHAEL LUO and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN

December 14, 2009

More than half of the nation’s unemployed workers have borrowed money from friends or relatives since losing their jobs. An equal number have cut back on doctor visits or medical treatments because they are out of work.

Almost half have suffered from depression or anxiety. About 4 in 10 parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children that they attribute to their difficulties in finding work.

Joblessness has wreaked financial and emotional havoc on the lives of many of those out of work, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll of unemployed adults, causing major life changes, mental health issues and trouble maintaining even basic necessities.

The results of the poll, which surveyed 708 unemployed adults from Dec. 5 to Dec. 10 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points, help to lay bare the depth of the trauma experienced by millions across the country who are out of work as the jobless rate hovers at 10 percent and, in particular, as the ranks of the long-term unemployed soar.

Roughly half of the respondents described the recession as a hardship that had caused fundamental changes in their lives. Generally, those who have been out of work longer reported experiencing more acute financial and emotional effects…

With unemployment driving foreclosures nationwide, a quarter of those polled said they had either lost their home or been threatened with foreclosure or eviction for not paying their mortgage or rent. About a quarter, like Ms. Newton, have received food stamps. More than half said they had cut back on both luxuries and necessities in their spending. Seven in 10 rated their family’s financial situation as fairly bad or very bad.

But the impact on their lives was not limited to the difficulty in paying bills. Almost half said unemployment had led to more conflicts or arguments with family members and friends; 55 percent have suffered from insomnia…

A quarter of those who experienced anxiety or depression said they had gone to see a mental health professional. Women were significantly more likely than men to acknowledge emotional issues…

Nearly half of the adults surveyed admitted to feeling embarrassed or ashamed most of the time or sometimes as a result of being out of work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the traditional image of men as breadwinners, men were significantly more likely than women to report feeling ashamed most of the time.

There was a pervasive sense from the poll that the American dream had been upended for many. Nearly half of those polled said they felt in danger of falling out of their social class, with those out of work six months or more feeling especially vulnerable. Working-class respondents felt at risk in the greatest numbers.

Nearly half of respondents said they did not have health insurance, with the vast majority citing job loss as a reason, a notable finding given the tug of war in Congress over a health care overhaul. The poll offered a glimpse of the potential ripple effect of having no coverage. More than half characterized the cost of basic medical care as a hardship.

Many in the ranks of the unemployed appear to be rethinking their career and life choices. Just over 40 percent said they had moved or considered moving to another part of the state or country where there were more jobs. More than two-thirds of respondents had considered changing their career or field, and 44 percent of those surveyed had pursued job retraining or other educational opportunities…

The poll also shed light on the formal and informal safety nets that the jobless have relied upon. More than half said they were receiving or had received unemployment benefits. But 61 percent of those receiving benefits said the amount was not enough to cover basic necessities.

Meanwhile, a fifth said they had received food from a nonprofit organization or religious institution. Among those with a working spouse, half said their spouse had taken on additional hours or another job to help make ends meet…

In terms of casting blame for the high unemployment rate, 26 percent of unemployed adults cited former President George W. Bush; 12 percent pointed the finger at banks; 8 percent highlighted jobs going overseas and the same number blamed politicians. Only 3 percent blamed President Obama.

Those out of work were split, however, on the president’s handling of job creation, with 47 percent expressing approval and 44 percent disapproval.

Unemployed Americans are divided over what the future holds for the job market: 39 percent anticipate improvement, 36 percent expect it will stay the same, and 22 percent say it will get worse.

Isn’t it peculiar that the New York Times and CBS News waited until the recession has been declared officially over and employment numbers are supposedly going back up to take such a poll?

It’s almost as if they didn’t want us to dwell upon our misery in its darkest days. Just like the way they downplayed the (non) recession under President Bush.

Of course the second sentence of the article sort of gives their motive away:

More than half of the nation’s unemployed workers have borrowed money from friends or relatives since losing their jobs. An equal number have cut back on doctor visits or medical treatments because they are out of work.

And just in case we didn’t get the first time, we have this:

Nearly half of respondents said they did not have health insurance, with the vast majority citing job loss as a reason, a notable finding given the tug of war in Congress over a health care overhaul. The poll offered a glimpse of the potential ripple effect of having no coverage. More than half characterized the cost of basic medical care as a hardship.

Mind you, this is supposed to be a poll, rather than another Times editorial about the need for a greater safety net.

Speaking of polling, we admit we’re no statisticians, but we still can’t help but wonder how do you figure a “margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points” with questions/responses like these:

About 4 in 10 parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children that they attribute to their difficulties in finding work…

Seven in 10 rated their family’s financial situation as fairly bad or very bad…

Almost half said unemployment had led to more conflicts or arguments with family members and friends…

Nearly half of the adults surveyed admitted to feeling embarrassed or ashamed most of the time or sometimes as a result of being out of work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the traditional image of men as breadwinners, men were significantly more likely than women to report feeling ashamed most of the time…

Or is this part and parcel of that same new science that brought us consensus on man-made global warming?

Alas, as is so often the case in today’s journalism, there is a happy ending:

In terms of casting blame for the high unemployment rate, 26 percent of unemployed adults cited former President George W. Bush; 12 percent pointed the finger at banks; 8 percent highlighted jobs going overseas and the same number blamed politicians. Only 3 percent blamed President Obama.

Never mind that our economy was flying high until the Democrats decided that, despite their best efforts, the US would not lose the war in Iraq and therefore they needed to gin up a recession to get elected in 2006 and 2008.

Those out of work were split, however, on the president’s handling of job creation, with 47 percent expressing approval and 44 percent disapproval.

And of course a majority approve of Mr. Obama’s "job creation," even while they are so "traumatized" by being unemployed in a time of record unemployment.

Isn’t that amazing?

We wouldn’t believe it, if it weren’t right there in black and white in the New York Times.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “NYT/CBS Poll Finds Joblessness Trauma”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Trauma is only possible when a person is both empty and without a root. With a firm understanding and acceptance of the love of God and His Son, anything in Life can be handled. Without these, any little wind blows the unbeliever right over sideways.

    Things Change … http://www.amazon.com/Things-Change-VHS-Don-Ameche/dp/6302825075

  2. JohnMG says:

    …..”a majority approve of Mr. Obama’s “job creation,” ……

    But THEY are still unemployed. I can understand that. With critical thinking skills such as they demonstrate, I wouldn’t hire them either.

    Think about that for a minute and contemplate these idiots saying things like…….”He’s doing a fantastic job of creating jobs for everyone but me…….that’s why I like him so much.”

    It must have been quite a chore finding 708 idiots like these…..ya think? I wonder which ACORN office they polled?

  3. proreason says:

    The only cure is more Government Love.

    Translation: the middle class will have to pay more taxes to solve the problem that Leftist Government caused.


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