Homes With An Unemployed Parent Jumped 33 Percent Over Six Years


Credit: Associated Press

black unemployed woman

CREDIT: Shutterstock

The number of households with at least one unemployed parent rose by a third between 2005 and 2011, according to new data from the Census Bureau.

That increase was even more pronounced in some states. The number of families with an out of work parent jumped by 95 percent in Hawaii and a striking 148 percent in Nevada. It also rose by 60 percent in California, Connecticut, and New Jersey over that time period.

This lines up with other indications that families have been struggling with unemployment. The Washington Post highlighted a March report that found that more than one in six children had a parent who was unemployed or underemployed last year.

That report also found that the number of children with a parent who had been out of work for six months or longer more than tripled from 2007 to 2012. Another recent report found that single parents are disproportionately likely to be long-term unemployed compared to the employed, particularly worrying since there is no spouse to help with family income.

Long-term unemployment can have devastating effects. Being out of work for more than nine months is the equivalent of losing four years of experience on a resume in the eyes of employers. Those who are jobless for more than six months get fewer calls back for an interview than those with jobs who have less experience. Some workers say they have been told that a potential employer isn’t even interested in considering someone who has been out of work.