Market Watch: Most Unemployed Have “Completely Given Up” Looking for a Job


Stocks showed modest gains today as the market extended its winning streak to 3 in a row. The Dow closed above 18,000 for the first time since April.  The string of positive gains on Wall Street has come as a bit of a surprise to Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group who told CNBC today:

“Maybe it’s the rise in oil prices, but I don’t have any specific rational reason. The underlying story that’s being ignored is the continued reduction in growth and the decline in earnings.”

What adds to the perplexing situation on Wall St. are the results of a new Harris Poll of unemployed Americans.  The poll released today stated:

Nearly half of unemployed Americans have quit looking for work, and the numbers are even worse for the long-term jobless.  Some 59 percent of those who have been out of work for two years or more say they have stopped looking for work.  Overall, 43 percent of the jobless said they have given up.

These figures reflect very poorly on the employment environment in America.

Bob Funk-the CEO of job placement service-Express Employment Professionals, (which helped produce the jobless survey with Harris polling services) said in a statement:

“It’s frightening to see this many people who could work say they have given up. This is a tale of two economies. “

See more below.

According to CNBC:

The results of the Harris Poll of Unemployed Americans come just a few days after a government report showed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in May, but the drop came primarily because of a sharp decline in the labor force participation rate. The number of people of all ages whom the government considers “not in the labor force” swelled by 664,000 to a record 94.7 million Americans, according to Labor Department data.

Here are the final numbers from Wednesday, June 8th on Wall Street:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 18,005.05  (+66.77 / +0.37%)

NASDAQ: 4,974.64 (+12.89/ +0.26%)

S&P 500: 2,119.12  (+6.99/ +0.33%)