“MoneyWatch) America is facing an unemployment problem far more complex than what emerges in government jobless statistics. Changes in who the unemployed are and what has happened to them in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis could mean a starkly different economy even after jobs have returned.
Going just by the numbers. it might appear things are getting better, or at least not getting much worse. The unemployment rate dropped in August to 8.1 percent, from 8.3 percent. Yet the main reason for that decline was that many job-seekers gave up looking for work. A more accurate picture is visible in the four-week average of the number of people applying for unemployment benefits. The Labor Department said today that nearly 378,000 Americans applied for jobless aid last week, the highest level in nearly three months and the fifth-straight week that figure has increased. ”