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wrote that “Underemployment, a measure that combines the percentage
of workers who are unemployed with the percentage working part-time
but wanting full-time work, was 18.2% in December, 2011” (p. 1).
While this is down somewhat from December, 2010, Gallup believes that
there is little reason for optimism and that many workers who are no lon-
ger receiving unemployment compensation, and who have stopped look-
ing for jobs, are not reported in the official unemployment calculations
and that the actual rate of unemployment in the country is far higher.
Lawrence Summers, President Clinton's Treasury Secretary and one of
President Obama's economic advisors, notes that recent surveys have
found that 40% of Americans believe that capitalism and the free market
economy are incapable of sustaining the relatively high employment rates
of the past and writes, “Few would confidently bet that the US or
Europe will see a return to full employment as previously defined within
the next 5 years. The economies of both are likely to be constrained by
demand for a long time. One in six American men between 25 and 54
are likely to be out of work even after the US economy recovers”
( Summers, January 9, 2012, p. 1 ). The Economist (2010, p. 1) also believes
that unemployment will be a long-term problem and states:
... policymakers need urgently to think beyond stimulus measures, and also to
adopt more targeted policies to help the millions stuck in the wrong place with
the wrong skills. Otherwise, even a return to brisk economic growth (something
that scarcely looks likely right now) will not be enough to rescue them from
the breadline.
Unemployment has severe social, emotional, and financial conse-
quences. A study of 1,200 unemployed workers reported by Deprez
(September 3, 2009) for Bloomberg Business News found that overwhelming
majorities of the survey's respondents said they feel or have experienced
anxiety, helplessness, depression, and stress after being without a job. Many
said they have experienced sleeping problems and strained relationships and
have avoided social situations as a result of their job loss. Still others
described diminished hopes of finding employment at older ages, and feel-
ings that advanced degrees are useless or have caused potential employers to
think they're overqualified. Some said they have questioned their self-
identity after they had allowed their professional careers to define them, and
some reported difficulty finding credit to begin new businesses (p. 1).
Davidson (April 16, 2012) reports that lawsuits filed by workers against
employers rose 32% against the same data in 2008. The main complaints in
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