The Scariest Unemployment Graph In The Past 50 Years

The median amount of time on unemployment is higher today than any other time in the past 5 decades.  Actually, it’s more than twice as high today than any time in the past 50 years.

Ok so you’re wondering, what does this mean? Does it mean we must extend unemployment? Does it mean we need to stop giving out incentives to not find work? Does it mean we need to create more educational programs or does it mean our current retraining programs aren’t working?  Does it mean we need another stimulus, more state aid, larger infrastructure projects, more public works or does we need to stand back & let the market correct itself?

What I’m trying to get at is, not only is it a difficult pill to swallow to be on unemployment but it’s harder when you see graphs like this…being on unemployment for only 15 weeks you might take this news and realize you’re still 12 weeks away from being average.  Or you can look at it as 27 weeks is the barrier to give up searching anymore…

What do you think? What does this graph mean to you?

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21 Comments

  1. I’m glad somebody recognizes the real challenges of unemployment statistics. Too many politicians as well as many career advisor, recruiters and job placement hacks shed all of the blame on the poor, unemployed individual. They are accused of being lazy or not resourceful enough. LinkedIn for one has proven quite useless in the job search, despite all the hype. Even with a good work history, one can only send out so many resumes, go to so many interviews, and make so many phone calls. The fact is so few jobs exist that landing one of them can be extremely difficult.

  2. It means that after having spent close to a TRILLION dollars on “stimulus” bottom line is we need to get a president into the White House who’s actually held a paying job in the private sector. Obama clearly loathes the private sector, and just doesn’t understand business. Now saddling employers with more new taxes/expenses than at any given time in 50+ years is only going to make the statistics on this graph go higher, and higher, and higher…

  3. More “stimulus spending” is not the answer. What’s extending the current recession can be attributed to a climate of uncertainty caused in part by businesses not knowing what new regulations, taxes, and deficits are still coming. And, yes, even stimuli cause uncertainly, since that money is not distributed evenly throughout the economy. If we really wanted to jump-start the economy, we’d cut tax rates by a substantial margin for one year. Businesses and private investors would spend and hire like crazy to take advantage of that. Problem: politicians can’t take personal credit for “creating jobs” in such a scenario.

  4. The Scariest Unemployment Graph Ever! . . . is a wake up call. Are we going to let the graph control our future, or will we shape future graphs?
    Is the glass half full, half empty, or just too big a container for the liquid at hand? There are so many variables and personal circumstances for those of us who are “un-employed”, “in transition”, or as I prefer to refer to myself: “Self Employed”. Some qualify for unemployment benefits and some don’t. Some prefer to be proactive with their career search, while receiving benefits and some would rather wait till the well runs dry, hope for a refill, and then be forced to look for work before the next bill is due.
    After 30 years as a sales rep, sales manager, and sales trainer, I was affected in Q1 2008, when banks ceased to lend money for my customers. I did not qualify for unemployment benefits. I lived off of personal savings and loans from family. Meanwhile, I looked for and found part-time work, temp work, odd jobs, and did some volunteer work to network and get out of the house. I attended many workshops, seminars, and networking events to keep in touch, gain information on opportunities and to get my resume out. I’m concentrating on two avenues: a full time career as a corporate sales trainer and starting my own company, offering sales training for entrepreneurs, professional sales reps, and the un-employed. My ultimate goal is for one or both to work. Due to the current economic and employment situation, I feel there is a need for my services to offer alternative career options for the un-employed, refresher courses for former sales professionals, and sales training and motivational speaking for entrepreneurs who need to build a sales force to grow their new businesses.
    — “Even though God created food for the birds, He doesn’t drop it into their nests.” — We have a choice. We can create our own futures and not wait and settle for a future concocted by others. This can be achieved through the assistance of a multitude of resources, such as http://www.ilostmyjob.com, a great place to start. Many are low or no cost, in your community and on the web: family, friends, neighbors, churches, job clubs, networking groups, and the list goes on. It is important that you communicate what you’re looking for. — “No ask = No get.” — ( . . . I’m concentrating on two avenues: a full time career as a corporate sales trainer and starting my own company, offering sales training and motivational speaking . . . http://www.ThinkSales101.com ) There are no guarantees. I wouldn’t count on unemployment benefits lasting forever. Existing jobs and careers are also subject to change without notice. The only one constant we can count on is: change. We need to guide the change. We need to control our attitude, not a graph. Do something. Move forward. Take action. Take intelligent risks. Allow yourself to grow by getting out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to get it perfect; you just have to get it started. G.O.Y.A.! (Get Off Your But).
    Wishing you Health, Wealth, Success, and Happiness!

  5. I lost my job last Aug. It took me 28 weeks to find a term contract job, which I am very happy with. I worked everything, everyday. I stayed upbeat and I followed up, had informal interviews, sent out resumes (I am a professional trainer – which is a very hard hit profession). Linked in does work, if you work it, so does getting out of the house, everyday to attend free events, meetings and talking with people. During my search, I meet people who were so jaded and bitter and these people are still looking. They are looking for the perfect fit, folks it is not out there anymore. Write a blog, become an expert, volunteer, enhance you skill sets own your destiny. Maybe your career field is gone; maybe you need to explore other opportunities. It is tough and it can really mess with your mind, but it is the strong person who will survive. Do not give up! These figures are true but it just means you have more time to enhance yourself.

  6. This just shows that way to many people are without jobs. Why because the jobs have gone out of the country? Or are people just to lazy? I for one came home the day my job was downsized and eliminated, sat down at the computer and started putting out my resume to all jobs I qualify for. Now six months later I am still doing the same thing. Don’t hold it against me that I don’t have a job. Believe me I would love to be going to work every day and getting the paycheck but the jobs just don’t exist. If someone wants to talk to me about a job please do, I am open to listening.

  7. This graph is realistic to the impact that the recession has had. I have been in banking all of my life. There was always the concern for whom was buying who and could your job get consolidated or eliminated. Twice I had a job change due to a consolidation and a department closing. Twice I had a job lined up before the final day arrived. This was prior to 2008. In 2009, the first time in my career that the time off was extensive. Networking, linkedin, job fairs, career counciling, and even cold calling netted few results. It isnt the poor unemployed person with no skills whom is out there. I personally know CFO’s, CEO, Sales, Manufactering, Engineers of all types, whom are all laid off. These people are working every opportunity to find employment. This effort is being repeated in many communities throughout are country. Make yourself feel good, help a colleague find employment. Our country needs are collective effort.

  8. I’m amazed at the comments I hear especially from those with a “political” agenda. I don’t think Americans realize that this country is not set on it’s current course by the last 4 years, or 8 years but going much farther back. Our “leaders” trying to deflect attention from their misdeeds used political pawns in positions of power like Greenspan to create “buzz” about interest rates to create “feel good” headlines and encourage builders to build and banks to not lose out on the mortgage gold rush. That may work unless you live in a “fad crazed” society like America. While it did encourage legitimate lending among the smaller lenders it created a feeding frenzy within the megaglomerate shark tank looking for the next company to show any weakness making them ripe for absorbtion. Couple that with what no member of either political party is talking about “CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS”. I find the 60 Minutes report particularly inciteful in that it was passed in the last lame duck congress of the Clinton era UNANAMOUSLY! That’s a smoking gun neither party wants to touch. But the TRUE decline began with something Bill Clinton encouraged as “saving American jobs”. That is the renewal of China’s status as Most Favored Nation. Thus securing the flood gates welded open to cheap imports for Americans certainly but more specifically those based in his home state of Arkansas. Welcome to Walmart shoppers, and how’s that “saving American jobs” plan working out for ya Billy bob? Oh you want to go back farther you say? The real reason we went into the Gulf in the first place? Wasn’t that because Sadam Hussein was gaining support for the worlds oil reserves to be traded in Euros also? (currently ALL oil in the world is traded in Dollars exclusively). So to keep Sadam from destabilizing the dollar we went after him. Oops. I guess we are the country that trained him and put him into power in the first place. Ok so lets fast forward to G.W. who being a good Texican has to save family face and finish what his daddy started. The only problem is Sadam sold off his WMD’s to Syria to finance the decadent lifestyle we taught him. Part of his weapons even went to Iran. (Being fools at heart we just don’t understand the middle-eastern culture … Better to sell them to the enemy who is a cousin than to be shamed by an Infadel). That’s the highlights that lead us up to the greatest political debacle in American history. I believe in this young mans zeal to make “change” and make his mark as the first President of color he doesn’t realize what he has ALREADY done has killed the country. I believe the true death pangs will begin by the summer of 2011 and you heard it here first. (UNLESS you are one of those who has heard me say that 2 1/2 years is all this admiinistration will last.) Buckle up the worst is yet to come.

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