A study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University has been getting some attention well after its mid-December release. The New York Times explored one aspect of it last Friday. I discussed another piece of it last Wednesday. Called The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in their Futures, it does not paint a pretty picture for Americans who lost their jobs in the Great Recession. Millions of them are still unemployed. And, as Catherine Rampell at the Times points out, many of those who have gotten remployed aren't doing so well:
Nearly 7 in 10 of the survey’s respondents who took jobs in new fields say they had to take a cut in pay, compared with just 45 percent of workers who successfully found work in their original field.This syncs with what gjohnsit reported in his diary three weeks ago, Stockman: Jobs outlook worse than people think. Lower-paying jobs are what large numbers of people are getting when they do find something new. And oftentimes, those are part-time jobs with no or minimal benefits, or temporary jobs. For November, seasonally adjusted new job creation clocked in at 39,000. Temporary jobs were counted at 40,000. The arithmetic is pretty obvious.
Of all the newly re-employed tracked by the Heldrich Center, 29 percent took a reduction in fringe benefits in their new job. Again, those switching careers had to sacrifice more: Nearly half of these workers (46 percent) suffered a benefits cut, compared with just 29 percent who stayed in the same career.
Many of those who found work in a different field say they have come to terms with the limited opportunities, but they are reluctant to see their new job as a calling.
When the year-end tally is announced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this Friday, it's likely that the total new job creation in 2010 will have come in at around 1.2 million. The expert consensus in a Bloomberg survey predicts the BLS will announce seasonally adjusted new job creation in December was about 140,000. Based on other economic measurements, however, there is some reason to believe that that figure will be far higher, possibly above 200,000. That would certainly be an improvement over the 86,500 average so far for 2010. But the question is, as the Heldrich Center survey and other gauges make clear, how will these jobs measure up to those that have been lost? This isn't your father's labor market, just like it isn't his Oldsmobile. But then, nobody makes Oldmobiles anymore.
bobswern had a diary that included a discussion of this here.