Stocks continue to rise, but the forecast looks even bleaker for the nation's unemployed. As corporate profits soar, so do the number of workers who have been unemployed for the long term. This news should be troubling to everyone, even the fat cats on Wall Street and those in Washington complaining about too much government spending.
A new study (PDF) by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds that 30 percent of the unemployed in America have been without work for over a year. That is an increase from a year ago when 23 percent had been unemployed for the long term, and its the highest percentage recorded since World War II. The shear number of long-term unemployed stands at 4.2 million people, an increase of 25 percent from a year ago.
In case anyone thinks this is just a problem for those looking for work, think again. The study reported, "Federal spending on unemployment benefits is projected to total $129 billion in fiscal year 2011, roughly four times more than spending in each of the years immediately preceding the recession." That should wake up those deficit hawks and serve as a reminder of the expense everyone pays for long-term unemployment.