The Great Recession and You: A Survey

The jobs crisis continues undermining the economic recovery of the United States, with unemployment currently at 9 percent. A particularly troubling part of this downturn has been the swollen ranks of the long-term unemployed. According to a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, about 32 percent of unemployed Americans have been without work for more than a year.

In a survey I conducted of 28 people through various social networking sites, namely Facebook and Twitter, I asked a random sampling of people about the way the jobs crisis has touched their lives. The polling sample was far from scientific, but revealed some compelling anecdotal insight into the fact that very few people have escaped the jobs crisis unscathed.

What is the longest period of time for which you have been involuntarily unemployed?

At the end of the survey, I asked all the participants what they believe the federal government can do to address the jobs crisis. Responses ranged from “Nothing” to “Tax billionaires more” to “Create a CCC type New Deal program.” No consensus was reached, but the most frequently mentioned remedy was the government investing more in infrastructure.

The varied responses are illustrated below in a Word Cloud.