As Congress Nears Vote on Jobless Benefits, Unemployment Rate Confounds Experts

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Jane M. Von Bergen


07/21/2010 - Sandra Greene, an unemployed project manager at an insurance company, has her theory about why, despite positive signs of growth in the economy, unemployment has been so persistently and frustratingly sticky.
"I think the people who have jobs are afraid to lose them," Greene said. "The companies know that and are working them harder."

Greene's research consists of talking to friends who still have their jobs, but economists use statistics like the rise in productivity to buttress Greene's point.

Other theories abound, of course, but confounding all prognosticators is that this recession is longer, deeper, and broader than any slowdown since the Depression.

...

Even those who regain employment experience diminished purchasing capacity, a phenomenon the staff of the Economic Policy Group of the Pew Charitable Trusts describes as "unemployment scarring." More than half of the unemployed who get jobs take pay cuts. That affects their ability to help push the economy out of its morass.

Read the full article, As Congress Nears Vote on Jobless Benefits, Unemployment Rate Confounds Experts on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

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