The unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in April, up from 9.7 in March and many experts expect the unemployment rate to remain high until 2015. Currently there are 15.3 million unemployed Americans as of April and that’s not counting workers who have given up on finding a job. The unemployment rate is calculated by counting all workers who are unemployed and are actively looking for work. If the government included unemployed workers who have given up on their job search in their calculations, the unemployment rate would be 17.1 percent. And while some experts insist that the unemployment rate rose in April because more already unemployed workers resumed their job search, the grim reality is that 6.7 million unemployed workers have been out of work for six months or longer, many of them depending on unemployment benefits as their sole source of income. Workers who have been searching for work for six months or more make up 45.9 percent of all unemployed people, which is as high as it has ever been. And because of the high number of long-term unemployed, many unemployed workers find themselves taking work that pays considerably less than their previous jobs.
High unemployment is not only expected to depress wages but it is also expected to impact consumer spending for years to come. When there are high numbers of unemployed workers who are without a job for an extended period of time, all job seekers are more willing to accept lesser pay sometimes significantly less just to secure a job as they face the inevitable expiration of their unemployment benefits. With less wages and fear of future job losses, workers spend less, creating a domino effect on the business world. Because of decreased revenue, many businesses implement more job losses, thus sending more unemployed workers into the job market prolonging the job search for many of those who are already unemployed.