Job search drop-outs hit record high

By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An alarming statistic has been revealed on the heels of last week's jobs report. The number of discouraged workers, or Americans who have simply given up on the job search, has hit a record high. More than a million people have stopped searching for employment.

Obviously, looking for a job is a daunting task right now. Cindy McPherson is a single mom who spends her days looking for work. She said she is almost ready to give up.

"It does get discouraging sometimes. Sometimes it's like, 'Why get up and get in front of the computer everyday?'" McPherson said.

The number of Americans who have given up on the job search has hit a record high. There are 1.2 million discouraged workers. As the nation's unemployment rate remains stagnant, this group is not counted for.

"They are not in the unemployment rate, because in our system, you have to be A. Not working, B. Available, and C. Actively seeking work," said Tim Kane, a professor of economics at UT Tyler.

Kane said these discouraged workers will re-enter the work force when the job market improves, but it may not happen anytime soon.

"If you use history as a guide, the people who dropped out by not seeking, generally are not drawn back into the labor force until the unemployment rate begins to fall, until they feel like they have a better chance of work if they go back looking," Kane said.

When they do go back to work, experts said it could keep the unemployment rate from dropping.

Kane said another factor holding the jobless rate steady is older workers who are not retiring on time.

"If an older person has accumulated quite a bit of bank deposits, they are not getting the 5% historically they are used to getting. They are getting 1%," Kane said.

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