A ‘frightening’ number of Americans have stopped looking for work — and most of them are under 30
More young adults are living at home with their parents than ever before — and it looks like millions of them might be staying there for awhile.
A new study found that nearly half of unemployed Americans have stopped looking for work — and most of them are under 30 years old, reported CNBC.
The Harris poll of found 50 percent of those who had been out of work for two years or more have stopped looking for a job, and 43 percent of all unemployed Americans have given up, the cable network reported.
About one-third of all jobless Americans are between the ages of 18-29, which signals a troubling trend in long-term unemployment.
“This is a tale of two economies,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, which helped conduct the poll. “It’s frightening to see this many people who could work say they have given up.”
Jobless workers seem to agree, with 83 percent of those polled saying economic benefits are skewed to the rich — and 66 percent saying they don’t apply to minimum-wage jobs because the pay is too low.
The most recent government report showed the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent last month, but that drop primarily came as the result of so many people dropping out of the labor force participation rate, the network reported.
“On the surface, a decline in the unemployment rate suggests improvement in hiring as more of the unemployed are put back to work,” wrote Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Fixed Income. “This time, however, the decline in the unemployment rate was the result of hundreds of thousands of Americans dropping out of the labor force rather than finding gainful employment.”
About 664,000 people were added to a record 94.7 million Americans who are no longer considered to be part of the labor force, according to the Department of Labor.
Many of those nonparticipants have retired or gone back to school — but the rest have simply given up on finding work.
The labor force participation rate has dropped to its lowest level since 1977, at 62.6 percent, but some economists say the worries are misplaced.
“Almost all of the decline that we’ve seen over the last decade or so is due to three factors: retiring baby boomers just leaving the labor force, college students getting more education than ever and disability,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at job placement site Glassdoor. “I don’t think it’s particularly worrisome.”
That demographic shift comes as Republicans, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), are proposing major cuts to the social safety net — including reductions to food stamps and Social Security Benefits.
The unemployed are spending just 11.7 hours a week looking for work, and 51 percent say they haven’t had a job interview since 2014.
Job creation has slowed significantly this year, with less than 150,000 jobs added to the economy since the start of 2016.
About 27 percent of unemployed Americans prefer Hillary Clinton, while 23 percent prefer Donald Trump.
The online poll surveyed more than 1,500 Americans who identified themselves as unemployed between May 5 and 17.