“Almost three million people nationwide have been out of work for at least 15 weeks, up more than 50 percent from a year ago. Half of them have not worked in at least 6 months, the Department of Labor said.
Another million Americans appear to have dropped out of the labor force in each of the last two years, no longer looking for work or counted as unemployed. Like the Reiters, many people who have not worked in months have begun spending retirement savings that were already diminished by the stock market’s fall. Others are considering low-wage jobs that pay a fraction of their old salaries. In either case, their stretches of unemployment could define their financial futures for years to come.”