Rising Stakes of Job Loss

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This came out last week, but the Economic Policy Institute recently took a look at the unemployment picture in America today and concluded that it was different in both degree and kind from previous recovery periods. In particular, more and more people are kept out of the job market over the long term: one in five of the unemployed have been out of work for six months or more. Meanwhile, women are representing an increasing share of the long-term jobless, far more than in previous recoveries, which means that this also becomes a problem for families—especially those headed by single mothers.

At a certain point, the ravages of unemployment cease to be a pure economic issue and starts becoming a policy issue. After six months, most workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits and start to rack up debt and/or tap into their retirement savings. (Which is why Social Security is still so damn important, even in the modern economy; one might say especially in the modern economy.) EPI recommends, at the bare minimum, an automatic extension of unemployment benefits under certain economic conditions. The longer term challenge, though, will be to figure out why this recovery has lagged so much compared to previous ones; no one seems to have figured that out yet—though Barry Ritholz has offered a variety of potential explanations here.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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