20 percent of American workers have lost their job during the last 5 years

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Reuters / Jonathan Alcorn

Roughly one-in-five American workers have been laid off during the last half-decade, according to a recent report, raising new doubts about exactly how secure job stability really is within the United States.

The report, published last week out of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, found that roughly 30 million Americans — or around 20 percent of the workforce — have lost a job during the last five years.

Additionally, the pollsters found that Americans that unexpectedly end up out of work have a hard time recovering and regularly end up making less money once they’re rehired, if hired at all. A survey of 1,153 Americans taken by the Heldrich Center determined that around half of the laid-off workers who did manage to find work after being laid off were paid less than at their previous position, and a quarter said those new jobs were just temporary.

“Laid-off workers who found another job seldom improved their financial situation,” the report found. “Two-thirds said their new jobs either paid less than their previous one (46%) or paid the same (21%).”

“While the worst effects of the Great Recession are over for most Americans, the brutal realities of diminished living standards endure for the three million American workers who remain jobless years after they were laid off,” Heldrich Center Director Carl Van Horn, a co-author of the study, said in a statement. “These long-term unemployed workers have been left behind to fend for themselves as they struggle to pull their lives back together.”

“While a majority of Americans were affected by the Great Recession, those who had long-term periods of unemployment experienced severe, negative changes in their standard of living,” the actual study concluded. “While job growth has been consistent, it has been insufficient to produce enough full-time jobs for everyone.”

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