Evidence from a Panel Study of Workers Who Lost a Job During the Great Recession


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Results from a national sample of unemployed workers, and the differences in their responses based on whether or not they received unemployment insurance.

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Evidence from a Panel Study of Workers Who Lost a Job During the Great Recession

  1. 1. The Long-Term Unemployedand Unemployment Insurance:Evidence from a Panel Study of WorkersWho Lost a Job During the Great RecessionCarl Van Horn, Ph.D.Professor and DirectorJohn J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Developmentand Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public PolicyNovember 4, 2011Research brief available at:http://bit.ly/ryoBoA
  2. 2. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance2Heldrich Center Surveys of Unemployed andReemployed Workers, 2009 to 2011 Four national random sample surveys of unemployed Americanworkers, conducted by Knowledge Networks of Palo Alto, CA Wave 1: August 2009: 1,202 respondents who had beenunemployed at some point in the prior 12 months (betweenSeptember 2008 and August 2009) Wave 2: March 2010: 908 re-interviewed; 76% of the original sample Wave 3: November 2010: 764 re-interviewed; 64% of the originalsample Wave 4: August 2011: 675 re-interviewed; 56% of the original sample Panel Attrition: The 675 respondents surveyed in August 2011constitute an almost perfectly representative sub-sample of theoriginal group of 1,202 interviewed in August 2009 The full results, reports, interview protocols, and methodology for allfour waves of interviews are available at www.heldrich.rutgers.edu
  3. 3. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance3Table 1: Panel Employment StatusAugust2011November2010March2010August2009Unemployed and looking 41% 54% 54% 76%Jobless and looking 33% 43%Part time, looking for full time 8% 11%Unemployed, not looking 17% 13% 13% 5%Dont want a job 4%Discouraged, out of labor market 6%In school 4%Doing volunteer work 3%Employed 43% 34% 33% 19%Full time 27% 26%Self-employed (full time or part time) 6%Part time 7% 8%Part time, in school 3%Total 101% 101% 100% 100%Numbers of respondents (675) (764) (908) (1,202)
  4. 4. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance4Figure 1: Have you received unemployment benefitsfrom the government at any time in the past 12 months?No76%No30%Yes70%Yes25%0%25%50%75%100%Currently Employed Currently Unemployed
  5. 5. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance5Figure 2: Areas where respondents reduced spending somuch that it made a difference in family’s day-to-day life:42%44%48%52%75%76%87%0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Housing/home maintenaceHealth careTransportationFoodTravel/vacationsClothingEntertainment
  6. 6. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance6UNEMPLOYEDFigure 3: How long have you been actively seeking employment?10% 16%35%50%15%32%29%18%24%22%47%22% 23% 22%7%12%0%25%50%75%100%Wave 1Aug-09Wave 2Mar-10Wave 3Nov-10Wave 4Aug-112 or more years 1-2 years 7-12 months Less than 6 months
  7. 7. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance7LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYEDTable 2: Which of the following have you donesince becoming unemployed?Long-termunemployed(more than 2 years)OtherUnemployedSold some of your possessions to makeends meet 60% 40%Moved in with family or friends to savemoney 20% 18%Borrowed money from family or friends,other than adult children 60% 45%Missed a mortgage payment 26% 19%Taken a job you did not like 40% 27%Taken a job below your education orexperience levels 36% 26%Missed a credit card payment 28% 20%Forced to move to a different house orapartment 20% 10%Increased credit card debt 31% 28%Used food stamps or received food froma nonprofit or religious organization 38% 32%Cut back on visits to the doctor ormedical treatment 55% 42%
  8. 8. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance8Table 3: What have you recently done in your job search?Did ReceiveDid NOTReceiveSent in an application to a potential employerYesterday/Last Friday 32% 17%Within 7 days 38% 42%Within last month 22% 18%Not in the last month 8% 24%Sent an email to a potential employer to inquireabout a jobYesterday/Last Friday 13% 16%Within 7 days 49% 33%Within last month 17% 15%Not in the last month 21% 36%Called a potential employer to inquire about a jobYesterday/Last Friday 15% 17%Within 7 days 31% 28%Within last month 29% 17%Not in the last month 25% 38%Unemployed
  9. 9. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance9Table 4: What have you recently done in your job search?Did ReceiveDid NOTReceiveUsed and online job board (like Monster, Hot Jobs,Career Builder), (like Craigslist), or online companyjob boards to look for a jobYesterday/Last Friday 34% 29%Within 7 days 34% 31%Within last month 22% 11%Not in the last month 9% 30%Looked at a newspaper classifieds jobs adsYesterday/Last Friday 44% 25%Within 7 days 22% 40%Within last month 18% 13%Not in the last month 16% 23%Contacted a friend of family member about a jobYesterday/Last Friday 26% 13%Within 7 days 23% 37%Within last month 15% 21%Not in the last month 36% 30%Number of respondents (117) (381)Unemployed
  10. 10. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance10Figure 4: What have you done in the past 12 monthsto help you get a job?0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%OtherTaken an education class useful for job huntingTake a class or training for skills to get a new jobWent to a one-stop career center or governmentalagency for helpAttended a job fairLooked for a job using internet boards or employes websitesUnemployed, did NOT receive UI Unemployed, did receive UITotal Unemployed, Wave 4 Aug-11
  11. 11. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance11EMPLOYEDFigure 5: How long were you actively seeking employmentbefore you found a job?0%10%20%30%40%50%2 months orless3 to 4months5-6 months 7 months - 1year1 year to 2yearsMore than 2yearsNot sureEmployed, did receive UI Employed, did NOT receive UI Employed, exhaustees
  12. 12. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance12Table 5: Forced to take a cut in pay in order to findnew full-time employmentDid Receive Did NOT ReceiveEmployedExhausteesYes 59% 32% 64%No 41% 69% 36%Total 100% 101% 100%Number of respondents (190) (86) (82)Employed
  13. 13. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance13Table 6: Support for ideas considered by government officials tobring down high unemploymentDid ReceiveDid NOTReceive Did ReceiveDid NOTReceive ExhausteesLong-term education and training programsthat help people change careers 86% 66% 92% 80% 87%Longer and higher benefits fromUnemployment Insurance 64% 44% 90% 63% 75%Have government create jobs forunemployed people 73% 49% 82% 72% 79%Require people to enter training programs inorder to receive Unemploymeny Insurance 59% 65% 58% 58% 53%Give tax credits to businesses that hire newworkers 76% 64% 77% 65% 74%Number of respondents (190) (86) (117) (381) (127)Employed Unemployed
  14. 14. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance14Figure 6: Possible steps to improve the economyconsidered by policymakers in Washington26% 22% 25% 25%21%20% 25% 24% 27%67%55% 53% 52% 49%12%0%25%50%75%100%Cuttinggovernmentspending tocontrol the deficitCreating jobsthrough directgovernmentspendingCutting wagetaxesProviding moreunemploymentinsurance forunemployedworkersSpending onconstructionprojects, such asroads andhighwaysFavorNo OpinionOppose
  15. 15. The Long-Term Unemployed and Unemployment Insurance15Contact InformationDr. Carl Van Hornvanhorn@rutgers.edu732.932.4100 x6305www.heldrich.rutgers.edu