Recession Leaves More than Half of American Workers Jobless or Underemployed
A striking new study from the Pew Research Center shows that more than half of Americans — 55 percent, to be exact — have suffered a layoff, had their hours reduced or been forced to work part time during the recession. Here is a summary of some key findings:
- The recession has, at some point, left one in three workers unemployed and more than half of workers unemployed or underemployed — with their hours cut or their status reduced to part-time, for instance.
- 95 percent of Americans believe the economy is still in a recession, though 41 percent believe it is starting to come out of the recession. Just 3 percent believe the recession is over. Whites and Republicans are more likely than other demographic groups to say the recession is still going on — though statistically, minorities and Democrats are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed.
- More than 60 percent of Americans say they have cut back their spending. And nearly a third say they will continue to spend less, even when the economy is comfortably out of the recession.
- One-third of adults say they are “not confident” they will have income, assets and housing to finance their retirement. Among workers in their 50s, nearly two-thirds say they will put off retirement because they need to keep working to stay afloat.
- A quarter of respondents say their children will have a worse standard of living than they do, up from 10 percent 10 years ago.