A March survey from Pew shows just how broad the unemployment pain has been felt. When you hear of 10% unemployment, you might imagine 1/10th of Americans experiencing extreme financial stress from the recent recession.
Yet given the unemployment rate’s odd methodology whereby it drops people who stop looking for work out of the data, and the fact that American households usually have more than one person, the real ‘pain’ number is 54% — over half of American households felt the direct impact of job losses:
A majority now says that someone in their household has been without a job or looking for work (54%); just 39% said this in February 2009. Only a quarter reports receiving a pay raise or a better job in the past year (24%), while almost an equal number say they have been laid off or lost a job (21%).
Basically, if your household didn’t experience un- or under-employment, then you are in the minority. Moreover, as shown above, fully 70% of American households experienced one of the serious financial problems above. Basically, the vast majority of American households was hit extremely hard.
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