National

Millions are still unemployed a year after being fired: NPR

The New York City store closed on April 21, 2020. A year after the pandemic began to spread, millions of Americans were still unemployed.

Spencer Pratt / Getty Images


Hide captions

Switch captions

Spencer Pratt / Getty Images

The New York City store closed on April 21, 2020. A year after the pandemic began to spread, millions of Americans were still unemployed.

Spencer Pratt / Getty Images

The caretaker Gloria Espinoza still vividly remembers the moment she was fired last year.

The supervisor gathered her and her colleagues in the parking lot of the office where she worked in San Francisco and gave the news.

“I wondered,’God, why are we?'” Said Espinoza. “It was like receiving a bucket of cold water.”

A few months later, Espinoza is still unemployed and is part of the economic statistics of concern. The labor market is showing signs of recovery, but the millions who lost their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago are still losing their workforce.

More than 4 million people were unemployed for more than 6 months in February, a surge of 3 million over the past year, according to a monthly employment report released on Friday.

Long-term unemployment accounts for 41% of all unemployed people in the United States. This is a level that has not been seen since the height of the Great Depression.

Adriana Kugler, a professor of economics at Georgetown University and a former chief economist at the Ministry of Labor, said the number of long-term unemployed was probably underestimated.

The problem can be exacerbated if you take into account those who have just worked part-time or who have dropped out altogether.

“Overall, that leads us to near-double-digit unemployment,” says Kugler. “The size of the problem is very large.”

To make matters worse, the most affected by long-term unemployment are women and people of color who were disproportionately dismissed during a pandemic.

Both groups were already low on wages before the pandemic and are now at risk of a permanent blow to their lifetime income.

Gloria Espinoza lost her job as a San Francisco custodian in April.

Courtesy of T Gray Albert


Hide captions

Switch captions

Courtesy of T Gray Albert

Gloria Espinoza lost her job as a San Francisco custodian in April.

Courtesy of T Gray Albert

According to a February McKinsey study, it could take women and people two years longer to regain jobs lost in a pandemic.

“The progress we’ve seen in closing gender gaps is very slow, even with COVID removed from the photographs,” said study co-author Kweilin Ellingrud. “And you pause that slow glacier progress, and you make negative progress, it’s deeply discouraging.”

For now, many long-term unemployed people are reluctant to give up the work they have loved and held for many years.

Budd Johnson, a route bus at the University of Delaware, lost his job last year due to virtualized classes.

When asked what he likes best in his old work, he uses the word “everything”.

“The sights are amazing. The people I work for are amazing. I love the atmosphere,” he says.

Budd Johnson lost his job driving a fixed-route bus at the University of Delaware.

Courtesy of Budd Johnson


Hide captions

Switch captions

Courtesy of Budd Johnson

Budd Johnson lost his job driving a fixed-route bus at the University of Delaware.

Courtesy of Budd Johnson

Johnson has survived a decline in savings while waiting to be called back one day.

“I eat two meals a day instead of three,” he says. “I go to the food pantry and get food from them.”

But the worry is that the longer the unemployment period, the harder it is for them to return to the workforce.

William Spriggs, chief economist at the AFL-CIO and professor at Howard University, says employers often stigmatize people who haven’t worked for months. The longer someone has no job, the harder it is to find a new one.

“That is, it appears in the cinema, not the usual way to think the line is working. I’m in line first, here, then. It works the other way around,” Spriggs said. I will. “Newly unemployed people line up in the first row.”

There is another concern.

What if a particular job doesn’t come back? During the pandemic, people’s way of working and living changed dramatically, for example, with the surge in online shopping.

These shifts can make some unemployment last longer, Professor Georgetown’s Kuggler The United States says it is not ready to help affected workers.

“We are very worried that we are not investing in workforce development,” she says.

Also, even if some work comes back, it can come back in various ways, such as clerical work.

As many people adapt to working from home, many companies are considering a combination of remote and in-office work, and experts believe that they may not be able to return to a crowded office.

It could have a spillover effect on people like Espinoza who cleaned their offices last year and were fired.

Espinoza knows that there is no guarantee that he will get his job back, but he has hope.

“In my opinion, we need additional workers, so we can provide them with the extra clean space they deserve,” she says.

Millions are still unemployed a year after being fired: NPR

Source link Millions are still unemployed a year after being fired: NPR

Related Articles

Back to top button