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Economists predict high employment may last five to 10 years

It could take until the middle of the decade or longer for the nation to generate enough jobs to drive down the unemployment rate to a normal 5 or 6 percent and keep it there.

That’s the prediction in the article "Even as Economy Mends, a Jobless Decade May Loom."

About 15.4 million people are unemployed. The jobless rate is 10 percent. More than 7 million jobs have disappeared. A record 5.9 million people have been out of work for at least six months. In addition, household income, adjusted for inflation, has shrunk in the past decade. 

And baby boomers, whose retirement accounts have decreased in value, could put off retiring and stay in the work force longer, the article reports. That would leave fewer positions available for the unemployed.

What’s your job situation? Will you be working longer than you’d planned due to the downturn in the economy? Are you looking for work? How are your kids doing in job hunting?

Let me know in the Comment section below.

Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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This is a gloomy prediction but I want to contradict.Though I may not have any data to make void these findings, I rely on the ability of people to lift themselves up of this adversity. After all, we are given the capacity. :-)


Hi Walter,

I agree the prediction for continued high employment for five years or a decade is grim.

In this Great Recession, I'd like to see consumers developing new methods to help each other. In the post, "What Consumers Need to Do to Help Themselves During the Great Recession" at, I suggested that consumers form groups to assist each other during these tough economic times.

We need to change our consumptive lifestyles and habits. I think that's happening. Consumers are spending less.

However, coporations, the government, and the media continually complain about how consumer spending is down. They seem to be waiting for a return to high spending consumers can't afford.

Part of the changes that I see are needed is the way we look at work. We need programs where baby boomers and others can work part time in job sharing arrangements. One program that's being looked at is used in Germany. Rather than laying people off in droves, a government program pays part of the salaries of workers who otherwise would be laid off until the company can recover. Some states here are using it, too.


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