Although joblessness amongst the young has grabbed much attention, just as significant are the 3.5M+ middle-aged unemployed, 39% of whom have been without work for at least a year. The rate is unprecedented in modern U.S. history. “Even when you do return to work, it’s a much worse job than before you were laid off,” says Economist Sewin Chan.
CHICAGO—By this point in his life, Keith Daniel thought he would be saving for retirement, helping his daughter through college and slugging his way to glory in his local softball league.
Instead, the 52-year-old is burning through his savings and working odd jobs to make ends meet. He hasn’t held a full-time job in over three years.
Much of the attention during the prolonged U.S. employment crisis has been on high rates of joblessness among young people. Less noticed, but no less significant to many economists, has been the plight of the middle-aged. More than 3.5 million Americans between the …