The Labor Department says in a report that only 56 percent of Americans laid off from January 2009 through December 2011 had found jobs by the start of this year. More than half of them took jobs with lower pay. One-third accepted pay cuts of 20 percent or more.
The figures would be even lower if people who could find only part-time jobs were included in the total.
The report is an illustration of the job market's persistent weakness well after the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009.