The number of people out of work for half a year or longer was 272,300 last year, nearly twice as many as six years earlier. Those out of work for a year or longer numbered 96,400 last year – more than double 2007 levels, according to Statistics Canada data.
Longer bouts of unemployment are a problem for several reasons. The financial hit that occurs when one is without work for months on end means the person is faced with little spending, eroded savings and greater odds of falling into low-income status. Skills atrophy and networks unravel. More broadly, it spells lost productivity for a swath of the working-age population. Research shows that the longer one is out of work, the tougher it is to re-enter the labour market.
The long-term unemployed “are this group that is isolated from the labour market,” said Kory Kroft, assistant professor of economics at the University of Toronto, who has co-authored several studies on the issue.
“A lot of this is from anemic job growth, the recession and discrimination against the long-term unemployed.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Canada’s sticky challenge of long-term unemployment – The Globe and Mail.
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