NPR logo Survey Of The Unemployed Finds 'A Shaken, Traumatized People'


Survey Of The Unemployed Finds 'A Shaken, Traumatized People'

Being unemployed is just awful. It sounds simple to say, until you're the one living it.

Now the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, part of Rutgers University, puts some scholarship behind the obvious. Its new survey of 1,200 Americans out of work "portrays a shaken, traumatized people coping with serious financial and psychological effects from an economic downturn of epic proportion," the center reports.

Two-thirds of the respondents described themselves as depressed. More than half have hit up family or friends for loans. Sixty percent said they had no warning — a category the Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks — and only 15 percent said they got any severance. The survey includes comments from laid-off workers, including this one:

There used to be page of jobs every day and — in my industry — two columns in the paper. Now there are days where the entire list of available jobs in this city, you can count on both hands!

On Friday morning, we'll be posting charts from the new August unemployment report so you can see the latest on what's happening in the national job market.