Other labor statistics appear to support the bleak
long-term outlook for professionals. U.S. Department
of Labor unemployment figures for 2000-2003 show a 95
percent increase in unemployment among workers with
college degrees, compared to a 40 percent increase
among those with a high school diploma or less. Worse,
long-term unemployment for those with college degrees
rose by nearly 300 percent over the same period. The
Economic Policy Institute (EPI) recently reported that
the unemployment level of college graduates now
surpasses that of high school dropouts. "Such a large
and enduring increase in unemployment among those with
college degrees is unusual, even in a recession," said
EPI economist Jared Bernstein
De-jobbing, mentioned in the 1990's
Nine million jobs have been lost in the Fortune 1,000 companies
alone. In the summer of 1993, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
noted that the ratio of terminated workers to temporarily laid
off workers was 4:1, as compared to the 1982 ratio of 2:1.
A U.S. News and World Report cover story, "Where Did My Career
Go?", noted that the current annual rate of job recovery is only
20% of the average rate of recovery in recessions since 1950.
James Medoff, a Harvard economist, stated "Today, people who lose
their jobs are history." Eighty-five percent of those who lost
white collar jobs will never get them back--an all time high for
This permanent job loss is the result of a restructuring of work
in America. Two leading causes of this trend are technology and
the use of temporary workers.
William Bridges, author of Job Shift stated "All jobs in today's
economy are temporary. The job as a social artifact is on the
wane...Work arrangements that are taking its place...are
themselves temporary in the sense that they are created to meet
productivity needs in an immediate but changing situation." An
increasing number of corporations are designing their work
environment to be project focused rather than job focused. When
the project ends, the job ends.
**On unemployment statistics, from States Where the Unemployed Are Giving Up:
In some U.S. states, nearly half of the job seekers who have stopped looking for work have done so because they simply don't believe they'll find anything. Indeed, the number of discouraged workers nationwide has more than doubled in the past year. This trend won't be reflected in the widely publicized unemployment rate, as discouraged workers aren't included among the unemployed.
The marginally attached-->
Most jobless people who have stopped looking for work are otherwise engaged--they're back in school, taking on family responsibilities, or too sick to search. They, along with workers who have stopped because they're discouraged, make up a group that the Labor Department calls the "marginally attached." They're included in some of the broader measures of unemployment, but they're officially not part of the workforce. While discouraged workers make up about a third of the marginally attached nationwide, their numbers have been increasing.