Wince of the Week of Dec 3, 2012, excerpted from The Nation’s “This Week In Poverty: When Even Santa Can’t Get a Job,” by Gregory Kaufmann
In May 2012, Richard Crowe was laid off when the steel mill where he had worked for thirty-four years was shut down. He’d worked there since graduating from high school. New ownership filed for bankruptcy.
“The judge threw the workers’ contract out, the owners walked away with $20 million, and we got nothing,” says Crowe, who is 54, and lives in eastern Ohio.
Seven months later, Crowe is one of 5 million “long-term” unemployed workers in the United States who have been looking for work for more than six months. They are disproportionately older (over 50), women, and minorities, and according to today’s jobs report, their employment prospects haven’t much improved.
If Congress doesn’t extend the unemployment insurance program by the end of this year, 2 million of these workers will lose their benefits between Christmas and New Years Day, another 1 million by April 2013 and more than 5 million people will be without benefits by the end of 2013, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). This would occur at a moment when there are still 12 million people unemployed, and there are approximately 3.4 unemployed applicants for every available job opening.–excerpted from The Nation’s “This Week In Poverty: When Even Santa Can’t Get a Job,” by Gregory Kaufmann