In the new HBO documentary, “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island,” award-winning producer and director Marc Levin takes a deeper look at how many average middle class Americans are still struggling from the fallout of the Great Recession. The film puts a human face on the ongoing U.S. unemployment problem, which has stumped policymakers and economists alike.
While the jobs picture has been improving, U.S. unemployment still sits at a staggeringly high rate of 8.2 percent. Millions of Americans are looking for a job but just cannot find work. Last month 5.4 million people, or 42 percent of those who are unemployed, had been unemployed for more than 27 weeks and the underemployment rate — which includes those who have a part-time job but seek a full-time position and those who have just given up looking for work — rose to 14.9 percent.