Updated:
Original:

Jobs riddle: Why does long-term unemployment persist in Minnesota?

Author:

Minnesota has been relatively fortunate as the nation has climbed out of its recession – the state's latest unemployment figure was 4.8 percent, well below the U.S. rate of 6.7 percent.

But for many long-time job seekers, that figure means little.

Minnesota still has 40,000 long-term unemployed workers who have been looking for a job for six months or longer, about 25 percent of the state's unemployed, MPR News reports.

That figure is down from 54,600 in 2012, but the job seekers are frustrated – and so are experts who have a hard time pinning down exactly why these workers are still struggling to find a job.

Historically, it's not a typical problem. Judd Cramer, co-author of a recent Brookings Institution study on long-term unemployment, told MPR News that about one-third of the nation's unemployed have been looking for six months or more, which is historically high.

"Long-term unemployment, until the Great Recession, it was a European phenomenon we didn't think we had to deal with," Cramer said.

In the grim study released in March by Brookings, three Princeton economists reported that only 11 percent of the long-term unemployed in any given month found full-time work a year later.

The researchers examined whether a low supply of jobs or employer discrimination against the long-term unemployed contributed to long-term unemployment. And the answer was probably both, the Los Angeles Times reported.

MPR chats with job seeker Vicki Pond, who lost her job about 18 months ago: "I'm told by some people, 'Well, we're really looking for someone with a bachelor's or master's degree. And then [by] other people, I'm being told I'm overqualified."

That begs another tough question for job seekers to answer: Should I get a new degree?

It's been suggested that by 2018, 70 percent of all jobs in Minnesota will require post-secondary education.

But the Star Tribune notes that a new report, the twice-a-year Job Vacancy Survey, turns that assertion on its head. That report says that in 2013, the share of job openings that required post-secondary education fell to a seven-year low – 38 percent.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Timberwolves smash Rockets in season opener

The Timberwolves showed they have plenty of firepower in a victory over Houston.

Knuth - Nezhad - side by side

Frey challengers Knuth, Nezhad agree to rank each other 2nd

They're urging supporters to do the same on Nov. 2.

Jerome Horton - Sherburne Co. Jail - CROP

Charges: Man lied to buy gun later used by St. Paul mass shooting suspect

He's accused of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

BCA releases investigative file in Winston Smith's shooting death

The file contains 1,000 pages of documents, hundreds of photos and dozens of audio files.

Slice

Fire at Mpls. pizza joint weeks after opening, owners suspect arson

The owners arrived at work Tuesday to find the building on fire.

vaccine, covid

New COVID charts show hospitalization, death rates based on vaccine status

The unvaccinated are far more likely than the fully vaccinated to become hospitalized or die.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

White House begins process to ban new mining near BWCAW

The stated goal is to protect the "unique natural wonder" of the BWCAW.

Autumn Merrick, Autumn Rose Merrick

Man charged in shootout, crash that killed 18-year-old on scooter

Autumn Rose Merrick was with a friend near the Holiday gas station.

Related