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What Hurricane Irene Can Teach Us About the Jobs Crisis

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What Hurricane Irene Can Teach Us About the Jobs Crisis

Post by Guest on Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:15 am

The fact is, we have another crisis that's been hovering over the entire United States for almost three years now and shows no signs of blowing over. The numbers should be just as scary as the ones that have dominated our national conversation about Irene:

Right now, there are over 25 million Americans unemployed or underemployed.

The number who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more is over 6 million.

The average duration of unemployment now stands at over 40 weeks, the highest since the financial crisis began.

With the toll that the job crisis is taking on the lives of millions of people in this country -- from college graduates who can't get jobs to middle class families being thrown out of their homes -- this is a Category 5 disaster. In extreme cases, financial desperation has even been a reported cause in suicides. "We have noticed many more people mentioning the economy," said Eve Meyer, executive director of the nonprofit San Francisco Suicide Prevention, which has seen an increase in suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge. "We constantly hear, 'I'm going to be homeless; I would rather be dead than be homeless.'"

Studies show that around 18 months into an economic crisis, suicides begin to rise. "Benefits run out and the crises begin to multiply," said Meyer. Plus, we know that there are myriad other downstream life-and-death consequences of prolonged, economic decline.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/hurricane-irene-response_b_941960.html?ref=unemployment

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