The Labor Department calculates that 3 million Americans are hopelessly unemployed and have stopped seeking employment.
Photography by

3 Million ‘Discouraged Workers’ Have Ceased Employment Search

The Labor Department calculates that 3 million Americans are hopelessly unemployed and have stopped seeking employment.

Photography by

The Labor Department reports there are 3.25 million Americans who are labeled “discouraged workers” because they’ve ceased to find employment — despite the growing number of jobs available.

Several factors have been linked to these individuals’ decisions to stop seeking employment: 1) Age – Workers over the age of 55 have a harder time finding employment. They are the fastest growing number of discouraged workers. 2) Family – Some parents have utilized their unemployment to focus more on raising their children during the fickle economy. 3) Education – Students who anticipated a blossoming career upon graduating from college have decided to enroll back in school until the economy stabilizes.

The discouraged workers pose a long-term threat to the unemployment in the United States as the country slowly regains a stronger economy. “The way we’re measuring the long-term unemployed has a lot of holes in it,” said Stephen Bronars, senior economist for Welch Consulting. “A person can be discouraged for a while, but then gets bumped over into this other category.” Economist Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute, believes the recession has increased the number of discouraged workers. “We have always had a set of people who want a job but for whatever reason are not looking,” she said. “But this recession was so severe and job opportunities are still so weak, this group is growing because of thatWe know we have this huge pool of missing workers,” Shierholz said. “And we are not yet in a labor market that draws people in.”






  1. Yeah. I am 53, unemployed was fored to resined in 2009 due to a bigot who set me up with perssonnel and admitted to doing so because sshe hated me for NO reason. Now I AM IN school wont graduate until 2016-17 Imean really who is oin o hire me? YOU TELL ME!!!! When all I had was 6 more years 2019 to retire with full benefits? Buat because lack of man power an no mon ey to fully investigate they go along with the state and I am out of a career, living at my lowest in life at agae 53. Whats wrong with this picture and this suppose to be the greatest nation. THese ppl do not care about us AT ALL!

    • Kim, I regret ur situation, but u r taking positive steps to improve it! That’s great! Keep ur eyes on the prize, knowing that u r bettering ur self everyday! Did u ever serve in the military?


  3. Hi Kim, I’m sitting here reading your story and felt led to encourage you to not to give up; age is just a number with God; he is still on the throne and he still answers prayers. Don’t give up, he cares about you personally. Keep praying, he will reveal to you your heart desires.

  4. I think a lot of it has to do with the hiring process. I work with the public and people come in everyday to submit their resumes online and those resumes are loaded with grammatically errors and typos. In addition the stringent requirements are meant to eliminate. Where once a bachelor’s degree in business administration was all needed to be considered for a job now you have to have experience in that job or field…which narrows the candidate pool. I also tell people to make sure they have the buzz words because when resumes are scanned they will pick up those words…otherwise they go straight to the shredder. Looking for a job is a job.

  5. I AM one of the discouraged individual,I AM 56,worked,have been paying my way since 1972,i have no income at all from the government or employment in order to get help the system wants you be disabled in some way,i get no more unemployment,exhausted,according to the system,DSS,want you be disabled or alot of children,i get food stamps that’s all,but you see GOD IS MY SOURCE,NOT MAN,so today i clean homes to take care of myself,it is nowhere what i am use to but it is a source,i do not have to LIE,to receive assistance.I AM in college going for Social Worker,that has been difficult also,financially,to get grants and scholarship,have exhausted government loans,so I AM praying,i have til 2014,when i will graduate,so if anyone has some suggestions let me know,can get loan with cosigner,you know that is not going to happen,so GOD IS MY SOURCE.

  6. Yes looking for a job is a BIG J O B. No one wants to talk to you directly – – if you go into an HR office concerning a position you saw online. You’re instructed to go online to apply where your resume is in this black hole. I’m 60 and so tired of hearing I’m over qualified or they can’t pay me what I was making before… no kidding. Yeap – Discouraged

  7. I am sick and tired of Obama’s B.S. about the improvement of people getting jobs. I’ve been out of work for over a year. The temp agencies are totally worthless. One cannot get a return phone call for a job posted on their website. I’ve called several agencies that I was registered with and I told them to deactivate my account with the and the reasons for the deactivation.

    When one looks at a job posting, a bachelor’s degree is required for data entry? Puleeze.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *