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Most who lost jobs in recession are still hurting, survey says

Only 7% of Americans who lost their jobs between August 2008 and August 2009 are doing as well as they were before being laid off — even if they have new jobs, a survey finds.

December 03, 2011|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

The vast majority of workers who were laid off during the recession said life is just not as good now, even if they found new jobs, according to a new survey.

The report, by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, found that only 7% of Americans who lost their jobs during the last year of the recession were doing as well as they were before being laid off. The researchers, who surveyed workers who lost their jobs between August 2008 and August 2009, found that 23% of respondents said they're on the upswing while 33% have since downsized.

But 36% said the recession "devastated" or "wrecked" them. Of that group, two-thirds had to sell possessions to make ends meet, borrow money from family or friends, or cut back food expenditures so much that it affected daily life.

Six in 10 visited doctors less, and nearly three-quarters said they still feel ashamed or embarrassed about their situation.

Among all respondents, more than half said their family relations were strained. Several sought professional help for depression or substance abuse.

Even now, 47% said their personal finances are in poor shape, and 41% said the effect on their standard of living would be permanent.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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