More than a quarter of employed U.S. workers suffered a bout of unemployment during the Great Recession that took many of them on an emotional roller coaster ride, a Pew Research Center survey shows.
An estimated 26 percent of the 139 million currently employed U.S. workers suffered at least one spell of unemployment during what has been dubbed "the Great Recession" that began at the end of 2007, according to the Pew survey released on Thursday.
The report paints a picture of a "financial and emotional roller coaster ride" for those who lost their jobs and then found new employment. It comes as the latest jobs data provide a glimmer of hope for those seeking new employment.
The Labor Department said on Friday that nonfarm employment fell for a third straight month in August. The drop, however, was less than expected and most of the job loss was due to a cut in temporary U.S. census jobs. Private employers added 67,000 jobs, the monthly jobs report said.
The Pew Research report said that only 38 percent of re-employed workers are earning more than they did at their former jobs. Just 28 percent said their benefits were better.
Even so, nearly 80 percent of re-employed workers say they are satisfied with their current jobs. Some 89 percent of workers who did not lose their jobs during the recession say they are satisfied with their jobs.
About 55 percent of re-employed workers say their families are worse off financially now than before the start of the recession. More than 35 percent said they had to make major lifestyle changes because of the bad economy.
The Pew survey showed that while they were jobless, 60 percent of the re-employed seriously thought about switching fields. Some 40 percent considered moving to an area where jobs were more plentiful and nearly as many went back to school or enrolled in job-retraining.
The report said many of the re-employed may have settled for the best job available in an anemic market. About 54 percent say they are overqualified for their current job, compared with 36 percent who did not lose a job during the recession.