DATELINE -- Santa Barbara, CA This heart-breaking piece in Rolling Stone magazine chronicles the plight of the formerly middle-class, waylaid, tossed aside, forgotten and struggling just to survive in the wake of the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression.
The Great Recession cost 8 million Americans their jobs. Three years after the economy technically entered recovery, there are positions available for fewer than one out of every three job seekers. In this labor market, formerly middle-class workers like Curtis and Concita Cates and Janis Adkins and Sean Kennan cannot reliably secure even entry-level full-time work, and many will never again find jobs as lucrative and stable as those they lost. Long-term unemployment tarnishes résumés and erodes basic skills, making it harder for workers to regain high-paying jobs, and the average length of unemployment is currently at a 60-year high. Many formerly middle-class people will never be middle-class again. Selfidentities derived from five or 10 or 40 years of middle-class options and expectations will capsize.