The young and the jobless aren’t job hunting
By Dan Berman
Young people who’ve been out of work for a year or more probably will not be applying for the next job you post.
Research by the Harris Corp., conducted on behalf of Express Employment Professionals, shows that about half the folks who’ve been unemployed for a long period of time say they’ve quit looking for work. These individuals tend to be young males, and they’re not getting unemployment benefits.
The Harris Poll found that most of these long-term unemployed claim the job market is just too competitive these days. Some of them might restart their job search if their unemployment benefits ran out. But this only applies to 82 percent of the 20 percent who say they’re getting unemployment comp. How the rest of them are surviving remains up in the air; Harris didn’t ask.
Nine of 10 of those surveyed still believe they will find a job, even though most of them aren’t looking, the survey said.
“The study offers several surprising and sometimes troubling insights into how unemployed Americans are faring and what they’re doing, and not doing, to get jobs,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “It also demonstrates why the labor force participation rate is so low – many people have given up looking for a job.”
The survey, The State of the Unemployed, is quite detailed, and is based on responses from 1,500 individuals. Here are highlights from the report:
- 47 percent of the unemployed agree that they have completely given up looking for work.
- The unemployed are more male than female (57 percent vs. 43 percent).
- They are younger – more than one-half are under the age of 40 and more than one-third are under the age of 30.
- 60 percent say looking for work has been harder than expected; just 10 percent say it’s been easier than expected.
- 45 percent say the economy is most responsible for their being out of work.
- 36 percent say they themselves are most responsible.
- 19 percent say their last boss is most responsible.
- 18 percent cite the government as most responsible. (Note: Multiple choices add up to more than 100 percent).
- 46 percent report not having gone on any job interviews in the prior month.
- Among those unemployed for more than two years, 71 percent report not having gone on any interviews in the prior month.
- 23 percent say their last interview was in 2012 or before.
- 36 percent say they spent five or fewer hours looking for work in the last week.
- 44 percent are “not at all willing” to relocate to a new city/town for a job, and 60 percent are “not at all willing” to move to another state to find work.
- 64 percent have no plans to go back to school to make them more marketable, and just 7 percent are currently enrolled in classes.