Unemployment has hit hard in the past few years. There have been spurts of layoffs in which many people were forced out of their positions. Thankfully, many have found new jobs, but the income is at level that falls far short of their previous job. In fact, only 56 percent of those who lost their jobs in the period between January 2009 and December 2011 were able to return to the workforce. Out of these individuals, more than 50 percent brought in a lower salary than before, and one third of them took a 20 percent pay cut.

It is not just the salaries of those who returned to work that changed. The entire job-creation market has changed. Millions of jobs were simply eliminated in the past few years. Of those that were created to help offer hourly rates far below the jobs had been eliminated. Many of these new jobs also don’t offer full-time benefits.

One of the men surveyed in the data shared with interviewers how his life has changed. He is a 53-year-old man who earned $80,000 a year at software firm working as a computer systems administrator. In March 2010, the company downsized, laying off 80 percent of their workforce. He struggled for a few years before finding a job with Apple in the tech support department. The job paid $9.15 per hour.

The worker said he was thrilled to have a new job, but he no longer lives on his own. He was forced to move back into his father’s home. The job also offers no benefits such as retirement plans, medical, dental or paid time off.

Other major issues involved in the unemployed returning to work involve discrimination. According to the study, the unemployed have a much harder time finding a job than those who are transferring to a new position at a new company. The study also showed that women are finding it more difficult to return to the workforce than their male counterpart.

Source: Kansas City Star, “Most laid-off US workers take pay cuts in new jobs,” Christopher S. Rugaber, Aug. 24, 2012