An analysis of unemployment data from January 2000 to December 2009 shows that the number of unemployed Americans 55 and older increased by more than 331 percent last decade. Importantly, the analysis uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which does not count people as unemployed if they are retired or if they have ceased to look for work. That means that the more than 2 million Americans over the age of 55 who are unemployed are not retirees they are people actively looking for work but unable to find any.
The most illuminating, profound and brilliant piece on the effects of long-term unemployment on the American psyche, family, society and politics is Don Peck's riveting cover-story in the new Atlantic. Really: read it and you will read everything on this subject in the news in a different and more sobering light. It's one more reason I believe that old media print journalism remains as vital as ever. And one more reason why I'm so proud to work among so many brilliant and committed writers at the Atlantic.