We all know (or should know) that, even though the official unemployment in the United States has dropped significantly in recent years, the effects of the combination of high rates of unemployment and of the long duration of being unemployed are still being felt by American workers.
And that’s exactly what Henry S. Farber found. Using data from the Displaced Workers Survey, he found that only 50 percent of job losers in the 2007-09 period where employed in January 2010, while about 56 percent of job losers 2007-2009 had held at least one subsequent job. Moreover, the probability of having held a job increased with the time since job loss. For example, 69 percent of workers who lost jobs in 2007 or 2008 had held at least one job by January 2010. In contrast, only 44 percent of workers who lost jobs in 2009 had held at least one job by January 2010. Finally, the fraction of workers who lost jobs in the 2011-13 period who subsequently found another job remains lower (at 68 percent) than in any period prior to the Great Recession.
while job loss is a fact of life in the U.S., the employment consequences of job loss in the Great Recession have been unusually severe and remain substantial years later. Most importantly, job losers in the Great Recession and its aftermath have been much less successful at finding new jobs (particularly full-time jobs) than in earlier periods.
Many American workers found it difficult, if not impossible, to sell their ability to labor during and after the Great Recession. And today, years after the so-called recovery began, workers continue to suffer—both unemployed workers who have found it very difficult to find a new job and employed workers who have been “disciplined” by being forced to have the freedom to compete with unemployed and newly hired workers.