By: George Mentz
Recently, researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics linked unemployment duration for persons jobless in one month with their labor force status in the following month. In this manner, estimates of unemployment duration were created for the unemployed who became employed in the subsequent month, as well as for the unemployed who quit looking for work and left the labor force.
By the end of 2010, the median number of weeks jobseekers had been unemployed in the month prior to finding work was a little more than 10 weeks.
In contrast, prior to the start of the recent recession in 2007, the median was 5 weeks. Unemployment duration also increased among those who eventually quit looking and left the labor force. Unemployed individuals were jobless for about 20 weeks in 2010 before giving up their job search and leaving the labor force. Whereas in 2007, those who were not successful in their job search had been unemployed for about 8.5 weeks before leaving the labor force.
The recent recession has had a profound effect on the length of successful job search. From 1994 through 2008, roughly half of all unemployed jobseekers found jobs within 5 weeks.
In 2007, for example, 49 percent of those who were unemployed in the prior month and employed in the subsequent month had been jobless for less than 5 weeks. During the same year, less than 3 percent of the unemployed who found work had been jobless for more than 52 weeks. In stark contrast, 11 percent of transitions from unemployment to employment exceeded a year in 2010, and only 34 percent lasted less than 5 weeks.
The information on unemployment duration also provides evidence that the likelihood of becoming employed decreases the longer one is unemployed. For example, the chance that a person who had been unemployed for less than 5 weeks would become employed in a subsequent month was about 30 percent in 2010. For those unemployed 27 weeks or more, that chance in a subsequent month was only 10 percent.
In summary, the length of time it took for the jobless to be successful in their job search increased sharply during the recent recession and in its aftermath. The median number of weeks unemployed doubled—from 5 to 10 weeks—and a far greater share of successful jobseekers spent in excess of a year in their search for employment. At the same time, the median duration for unemployed persons who were unsuccessful in their job search and left the labor force also rose dramatically. Moreover, once unemployed, the likelihood that one would be successful in one’s job search decreased as the time unemployed increases.
This article presents discussion and analysis relating to estimates of the length of time someone is unemployed before finding a job or before giving up searching for work. These measures were derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS) labor force status flow data, which capture the extent to which the unemployed find jobs, leave the labor force, or stay unemployed from one month to the next.
George Mentz, JD, MBA, CWM - is an international lawyer, editor, author and contributor in the areas of management consulting, personal finance, securities law, and wealth management. Prof. Mentz continues to consult with the US Government and United Nations on issues related to careers and education. Dr. Mentz is the first person in the US to obtain quad credentialing as a lawyer, Double Accredited MBA, Juris Doctorate Degree, financial consultant certification, and qualified financial planner. Mentz and his educational & professional development firms have worked with thousands of executives and industry workers in over 150 countries. www.FinancialAnalyst.org Mentz as a professor has personally taught over 200 business, ethics, wealth management, and law courses at various accredited institutions, and he is the founder of the Mentz Consumer Protection, Class Action, and Securities Law Firm www.securitieslawyers.us Mentz has served on the advisory boards of the: The African Economists Association, The Royal Society of Fellows, The Arab Academy of Banking & Finance, The China Wealth Council, The World E-Commerce Forum, The GFF Global Finance Forum in Switzerland, and the Indian Academy of Financial Management. Mentz has been a pioneer in promoting accredited program courses, exams and standards as a government recognized path to professional development. . www.georgementz.com Formally with a International Wall Street Firm, Mentz has passed NASD FINRA Exams and held licenses as an Investment Advisor. Mentz also consults on major securities class action litigation and consumer fraud cases and has provided insights as an expert in Arbitration. . Mentz is a award winning professor and author and is the winner of a meritorious gold medal for charitable service. Mentz has been seen on TV, Radio, and International Press along with being a keynote speaker for national and international seminars or conferences.