Long-Term Jobless in U.S. Take Pay Cuts When Finding Other Work

Most long-term unemployed workers in the U.S. have had to settle for lower wages to secure another job, Labor Department data show.

Fifty-four percent of those re-employed took a pay cut in order to land a new job, according to the report. One in three of those said earnings were at least 20 percent lower than at their previous employer.

At the same time, the labor market is making some progress. About 56 percent of the 6.1 million Americans losing a job between 2009 and 2011 had found other work as of January. That’s up from 49 percent in the three years ended December 2009, a period that included the recession.

From 2009 to 2011, reemployment rates were higher for younger workers than older workers; men than women; and Asians relative to other ethnic groups. Those who lost jobs in management, construction, natural resources and maintenance had the highest rates of reemployment, while service and sales workers experienced the lowest.

The study tracked displaced workers older than 20, who had been employed for at least three years and “who lost or left jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for them to do, or their position or shift was abolished,” according to the Labor Department.

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