In the upside-down, topsy-turvy world of jobs these days, even an advanced degree can’t protect some Americans from tumbling down the economic ladder. The conventional wisdom that more education bears fruit in the labor market gets turned on its head when it comes to unemployment. For people with masters and even doctoral degrees, long-term unemployment is especially insidious.
It has come down to this for Brian Perry: an apple or banana for lunch, Red Sox ballgames on an old Zenith TV and long walks to shake off the blues. At 57, Perry has been unemployed and looking for work for nearly seven years, ever since that winter when the Great Recession hit and he was laid off from his job as a law firm clerk.