The Recession’s Reach: More Than 50% Of Americans Affected

Since the recession began, a full 55 percent of Americans say they’ve been unemployed, taken a pay cut, had their work hours reduced or become involuntary part-time workers, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends Project.
That number looks a lot worse than the official 9.5 percent unemployment rate or even the 15-20 percent rate that includes “discouraged workers” and part-timers. According to Pew, 32 percent of Americans have been unemployed at some point during the recession. Also, unsurprisingly, more workers went from losing a full-time job to gaining a part-time one than the other way around.
Half of Americans say their finances are worse now than they were at the start of the recession, and two thirds of them say it will take their families three years to recover. And many workers are delaying retirement.
Sound familiar? If you’re one of the 55 percent, none of this is news; if you’ve been lucky enough to have kept your job this whole time, it may be somewhat of an eyeopener. Fifty-five percent? Really?