According to a national CareerBuilder study on the challenges faced by the long-term unemployed, 30 percent of workers who were employed full time and who have been out of work for 12 months or longer reported that they haven’t had one single job interview since becoming unemployed. This was just one of the myriad of obstacles the study discovered that America’s long-term unemployed currently faces.
“There are many talented people in the U.S. who are having a tough time finding a job – not because of a lack of ability, but because of ongoing challenges in the economy,” Rosemary Haefner, VP of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, said. “While our study explores the struggles they are facing, it also brings to light the resilience of these workers who remain optimistic, look for jobs every day and take measures to learn new skill sets to open the doors to new opportunities.”
The study of more than 300 long-term unemployed workers found that the loss of a regular income has affected these people in various ways.
- Not having enough money for food – 25 percent
- Strained relationships with family and friends – 25 percent
- Maxed out credit cards to pay other bills – 12 percent
- Losing their house or apartment due to inability to pay mortgage or rent – 10 percent
- Moving back in with parents – 9 percent
- Moving to a less expensive location – 4 percent
Nearly half (44 percent) of the long-term unemployed said they look for jobs every day while 43 percent look every week. Some of the major challenges they reported encountering during the job hunt include:
- Age or experience puts at disadvantage – 66 percent (Among long-term unemployed ages 55 and older, 92 percent feel their age works against them)
- Longer unemployment means less responsive employers – 63 percent
- Significant decrease of jobs in profession during and post-recession – 37 percent
- Unable to relocate or commute far – 30 percent
- Difficulty transitioning skills to a new field or industry – 16 percent
Yet, even though they encounter challenges, the study revealed that long-term unemployed workers are hopeful with many learning new skills, volunteering and expanding professional networks.