News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Business

June 9, 2014

Where have all the missing American workers gone?

TERRE HAUTE — WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate has been on a slow downward trajectory since the recession ended nearly five years ago. While the overall jobless level has dropped to non-recession levels, the number of the working-age people with jobs is barely over 6 in 10, hovering at a level reminiscent of the late 1970s.

In May, the U.S. workforce-participation rate — the combination of those with jobs and unemployed workers actively seeking them — was just 62.8 percent, the same as the month before. Job markets have been essentially flat since October.

Where have all the missing workers gone?

A key factor, nearly all agree, is the growing exodus from the job market of Baby Boomers. Born roughly in the post-World War II period from 1946 to 1964, these workers are now at or fast approaching retirement age.

Another reason is that some employment-intensive industries that suffered the most during the Great Recession, especially in manufacturing and construction, have yet to fully rebound.

But perhaps the most significant factor is unemployed workers “who just drop out of the job market after one, two or three years of looking for work and not being successful,” said Carl Van Horn, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University who studies workplace dynamics and employment trends.

Recent surveys suggest more and more long-time unemployed workers are abandoning the search for another job and leaving the nation’s workforce.

“And they are disproportionately older workers,” Van Horn said. “We have a large number of older (unemployed) workers who are not old enough to retire, yet they are facing discrimination in the workplace and have found it nearly impossible to get another job.”

There’s a flip side to that, though, Van Horn suggests: “As the economy gets stronger, as it continues to grow, eventually some of those discouraged workers will come back into the labor market, and we’ll have a higher labor-participation rate.”

But that hasn’t happened — yet.

“We know that the reason unemployment is so high right now is pretty simple: employers haven’t seen demand for their stuff pick up in a way that would require them to bring on more workers, put that factory back on line, get more people to work,” said Heidi Shierholz, chief economist for the Economic Policy Center, a labor-oriented Washington think-tank.

“It’s going to be this way for a while. We’re in a long slog,” Shierholz said, noting that the recession of 2007-2009 was the harshest downturn since the 1930s Great Depression.

“We really are in a recovery. Things are getting better,” Shierholz added. “It is agonizingly slow. But we are going in the right direction.”

It may be quite a while before the jobless rate falls back to 5 percent and below, long the informal standard pegged by economists as a typical employment level for non-recession times.

But 5 percent may no longer be the norm.

In February 2011, economists at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank suggested that around 6 percent might be a more appropriate unemployment rate as the “new normal.” But some analysts suggested even that target may be unrealistically low.

“Our economy is leaving our unemployed folks further and further behind,” said Robert A. Funk, CEO and Chairman of Express Employment Professional, an Oklahoma City-based service which tries to line people up with jobs and help client companies find suitable employees.

“But if people quit looking for work at a rate like this, it makes our job much, much more difficult,” said Funk, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City.

And while economists note high levels of unemployment among older working-age people, joblessness is disproportionately high among younger workers as well.

Generation Opportunity, a U.S. nonpartisan youth advocacy organization which keeps close track of job levels for younger adults, reported even higher effective unemployment rates for those under 30.

“School is out for summer, and more than four out of five recent grads don’t have jobs. My generation deserves better than an economy in which a 15.4 percent effective unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is considered a good month,” said Patrice Lee, director of outreach for the organization.

Even though the overall unemployment rate has been essentially flat since last October and is holding at high levels with 3.4 million Americans counted among the ranks of long-term unemployed, it’s been five months since federal emergency unemployment benefits expired, leaving the burden up to the individual states.

The unemployment rate is now back to where it was before the Great Recession. It was 6.3 percent in May, same as the month before.

Still, the share of Americans who are employed is stalled below 59 percent, well below the 63.3 percent peak in March 2007 and 64.7 percent of April 2000, said William Spriggs, chief economist for the AFL-CIO. “That difference represents the multi-million job gap needed,” Spriggs said.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Union Hospital cuts to come from support staff

    The reduction of 150 employees in Union Health System by the end of this year will come from support staff, employees who do not have direct patient care duties, hospital administrators said today.

    July 23, 2014

  • EYE ON THE PIE: Private sector option to calm violence in streets

    We were in Edinburgh at the Pixy Theater waiting to hear the Wright Brothers play.

    July 19, 2014

  • Christian bookstore to celebrate 30-year mark

    The Open Door Christian Bookstore is celebrating 30 years of business in Terre Haute. On July 30, The Open Door staff will host a celebration of the milestone with 30-percent-off coupons, free cupcakes and door prizes throughout the day.

    July 19, 2014

  • On the Move: July 20, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Décor tips for outdoors focus of magazine issue

    The new issue of the Carpet One of Terre Haute digital magazine – Beautiful Design Made Simple – focuses on getting ready for the summer and expanding living space outdoors.

    July 19, 2014

  • BUSINESS BRIEFS: July 20, 2014

    • ‘Accessible tech’ workshop in works
    • Old National to host earnings web cast
    • Duke to promote entry-level openings
    • Thrift store seeks clothes donations
    • Upland wins multiple awards at Brewery Cup
    • Technology for people with disabilities workshop at ISU

    July 19, 2014

  • Restaurant continues lemonade sale cancer fundraiser

    In the summer of 2000, the idea behind Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was born when 4-year-old cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott set up a front yard lemonade stand to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer cures.

    July 19, 2014

  • Nursery seeks grant applications

    The Terre Haute Day Nursery Committee is seeking grant applications from nonprofit organizations for funding in the child care areas of tuition assistance and program development.

    July 19, 2014

  • ASK SCORE: Looking to expand? Make sure credit measures up

    Good credit has always been important for entrepreneurs. But in today’s economy, building and maintaining a strong business credit score is essential for accessing both start-up and growth capital.

    July 19, 2014

  • SOCIAL SECURITY: Retirement, early or late, is a big decision

    If you believe in going all the way or not going at all, there’s a day to celebrate your extreme ways. This coming Saturday is All or Nothing Day.

    July 19, 2014

  • O’Rourke joins Sisters of Providence team

    When Providence Spirituality and Conference Center facilities manager Linda Malooley called Andrea O’Rourke inquiring if she knew of anyone who might be interested in taking Malooley’s position, O’Rourke offered a quick response.

    July 19, 2014

  • Regional artist to receive Arts Commission development grant

    The Indiana Arts Commission announced Friday that one regional artist is among 38 artists throughout the state receiving career development assistance through the agency’s Individual Artist Program grants for Fiscal Year 2015.

    July 19, 2014

  • Update: Union Hospital notifying workers of layoff

    Some employees of Union Hospital are receiving notice that they will be laid off as part of cost reductions.

    July 18, 2014

  • Convenience stores keep up fight to sell cold beer

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Convenience stores in Indiana are keeping up their fight to be able to sell cold beer, as a trade group said Tuesday it was appealing a judge’s decision upholding the state law that prohibits them from selling the beverages chilled.

    July 15, 2014

  • JM 070914 PAINTER 02WELCH.jpg Fresh coat: Student Painters put business theories to work

    James Welch has successfully started his own painting business in the Wabash Valley. It isn’t entirely his business, however, but it certainly appears that way.

    July 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • Eye on the Pie: Indiana’s small business friendliness: A report card

    It must be the season. Another ranking of the states crossed my desk this week. That’s the second in two weeks. This time it’s from the Kauffman Foundation, the Kansas City organization that promotes entrepreneur development, and its polling affiliate, Thumbtack.com from San Francisco. Briefly, this report tells us that Indiana’s small business friendliness rates a grade of B-, 18th of 38 states in the survey.

    July 12, 2014

  • Social Security benefits of different flavors

    Do you scream for ice cream? If so, July’s the month for you. If not, please read on just the same.
    July is National Ice Cream Month, and July 20 is National Ice Cream Day. Take your family to get ice cream and you’ll find a variety of flavors. Same with Social Security. Most people think of retirement, but that’s like limiting yourself to vanilla. At Social Security, we offer a variety of benefits.

    July 12, 2014

  • Business Cents: Know your key demographics, market share

    Today I wanted to discuss one of the more frequent questions and challenges that business owners face and also one of the more common reasons companies fail: understanding their market.

    July 12, 2014

  • Score: Learn the ins and outs of cash flow

    You often hear about motorists who suffer breakdowns in the worst possible places because they didn’t bother to check their oil level regularly or ignored their dashboard warning lights. Many small business owners do the same thing when it comes to managing their cash flow.

    July 12, 2014

  • Davis named interim student affairs VP

    Nolan Davis, associate vice president of student affairs at Indiana State University since 2010, has been named interim vice president for student affairs, President Daniel J. Bradley recently announced.

    July 12, 2014

  • Wireless Mike’s to host grand opening week

    Wireless Mike’s will host a grand opening celebration at its new location in Marshall, Ill., beginning Friday.

    July 12, 2014

  • Newsmaker: July 13, 2014

    July 12, 2014

  • On the move: July 13, 2014

    July 12, 2014

  • Chamber of Commerce: Getting in touch with the membership

    How does a new Chamber of Commerce president, with no previous chamber experience, begin his tenure?

    July 6, 2014

  • Social Security: Get to know your financial numbers

    In the United States, people do a lot to recognize and honor the heroes who serve in the Armed Forces and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. July is an appropriate month to recognize veterans and wounded warriors, as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

    July 6, 2014

  • Ask Score: Get to know your financial numbers

    Anyone who longs for the “good old days” probably doesn’t own a small business. Given the variety of powerful, easy-to-use accounting software products available today, it’s difficult to imagine wanting to keep records and prepare financial statements by hand.

    July 6, 2014

  • Librarian to take over VCPL west branch

    The Vigo County Public Library has named Lauri Chandler as the new manager of West Branch.

    July 6, 2014

  • DNR seeks new officer candidates

    The Department of Natural Resources is seeking qualified applicants to become Indiana Conservation Officers.

    July 6, 2014

  • St. Mary’s gift shop reopens in renovated location

    A sense of excitement flowed through the air of Providence Spirituality and Conference Center at St. Mary-of-the-Woods on June 20, as Linden Leaf Gifts conducted its official grand opening.

    July 6, 2014

  • Newmakers

    Newmakers

    July 6, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk
NDN Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity