“John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, thinks that declining participation might also reflect an increasingly fluid job market.
‘It used to be, a generation ago, that more people went to work, worked full-time permanently, worked much longer tenures. Fewer people put together different kinds of assignments, cobbling together work. We’ve seen a fracturing of the way people work,’ he said. ‘On the other hand, there’s a lot less job security. People give up, think there’s nothing there for them.’
But Challenger is less worried that the long-term unemployed are going to drop out. Disadvantaged workers, such as African-Americans, older Americans and immigrants, are usually among the last to benefit from declining unemployment. But the long-term jobless will be among the first of those groups to see gains.
‘When employers look at people, the long-term unemployed have it better than the teens, the immigrants or veterans, especially recent veterans,’ he said.” – Andrea Riquier