The “Discouraged Worker”—July 2, 2010 Unemployment Data

Like most in my trade—and most of you out there looking for work—I keep my eyes and ears open to the new monthly data on unemployment. I have heard all sorts of spins on the data most recently available from the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics (BLS). In fact, you could hear the glee in reporters’ scribbling as they happily reported the declining unemployment rate, currently at 9.5%, down from 9.7%.

I wanted to delve a bit deeper into the unemployment statistics. The report used a term we’re probably not too familiar with as a statistic, but we all know the punch-in-the-gut feeling it represents: “Discouraged workers.”

According to the BLS, discouraged workers are those who have ceased to search for work because they believe that there are no jobs out there that are suitable for them. The BLS statement reports that the number of discouraged workers has increased an incredible 289% to 1.2 million over the last 12 months.

To translate, that means that the number of people who have simply given up for lack of finding a job has almost tripled in the last year. This statistic differs from the number of unemployed, as “unemployed” assumes that those counted are actively seeking work. The discouraged worker surrendered to the poor economy.

Are You Discouraged?
If you are reading this blog post, you’re probably one of two things: You’re interested in the job market and actively seeking as well as shocked by the idea that things could get so bad you, too, might give up. Or you are, truly, a discouraged worker, and you’ve decided to give it one more shot.

Don’t Give Up! Get Connected to Career Resources
Regardless of how you see yourself at this very moment, don’t give up. My advice is the same. There are resources that can help you. If you need a resume, let us know. If you need career advice, we can help you with that, too. If you want to scrap your current career path and start over, let us find you a professional who can deconstruct where you’ve been and help you figure out where you want to go. If you already know all of that, and you simply need a recruiter who knows your specific industry, send us a note, and we’ll connect you with someone we know personally.

If you have a great resource, let us know why it’s incredible (it might even be you!), and we’ll add it (or you) to  my favorite career resources page .

Amy L. Adler, MBA, MA, CARW, is president and founder of Inscribe / Express and your partner in your job search. She writes exceptional resumes and cover letters that get interviews for savvy job seekers. Inscribe / Express is a full-service career documentation company and provides a 3-day turnaround time for resumes and cover letters. Contact us at 801-810-JOBS to speak one-on-one with a professional resume writer.

Amy L Adler markets senior executives with persuasive executive resume writing, compelling LinkedIn profile development, and masterful job search coaching, so they can identify and obtain the executive career of their dreams.

4 replies
  1. Tonisha Priolean
    Tonisha Priolean says:

    I think the main cause for the apparent growing sense of anger, hopelessness and despair among people who are managing this issue is that the long term unemployed are not a unified voting force. As a matter of fact, We are made up of an entire mixture of the entire working class. This recession did not just impact blue collar or white collar workers. Both Republicans and Democrats have both been hit hard. It just about equally effected us all.

    Reply

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