Photo: Unemployment Line
According to a new report from the Congressional Research Service on people called “99ers” – people out of work for more than 99 weeks – those most likely to be in this group are older, married, and members of a minority group.
As of October, it is estimated that there are 1.4 million 99ers, and that 99-week marker is extremely significant, because it is currently the maximum number of weeks a person can collect unemployment benefits.
More than any other group of unemployed people, the 99ers have the highest rate of older, married, minorities than any other group, and that could have to do with the fact that the industries hit the hardest by the recession were construction and manufacturing – an area in which a number of minorities work, statistically Hispanics.
The demographics of the 99ers, also called the “very long term unemployed,” are very different from those of other jobless workers in the United States.
Based on the report, which used information from January 2007 to October 2010, the “very long term unemployed” were pretty much half men and half women, though overall, men seemed to have been hit by the recession the hardest, and made up 58.7 percent of the total number of those unemployed. And while all unemployed workers are most likely to have a high school education or less, it was revealed that workers of all education levels make up the very long-term unemployed.
Race and age also played a role in the make-up of the 99ers. Unemployed black workers were the most likely to have been unemployed for 99 weeks than whites. Interestingly, though the recession left more younger workers without jobs, the very long-term unemployed 45 or older made up 44 percent of those in the group.
Though the unemployment rate in now about 9.4 percent, economists predict that number will hover around 9 percent at least for the rest of the year. And to make things seem even more grim for the 99ers, the report adds that “workers who have been unemployed the longest are often the last to be hired after the recession.”