I was out of work for 3 1/2 years before I finally landed a minimum wage, 35 hours a week job. There was literally no response to all the applications I filled out. It was very frustrating, especially being told that an employer received hundreds of applications for that one position. There really has not been enough jobs available for the unemployed, and most people have taken pay cuts just to be working at all. In my last job I was making double what I get paid now. I can't afford to live alone on my pay and I can barely make ends meet.
I gave up for periods of time due to many reasons. Looking for work and dealing with life events became too difficult. One event was going through a divorce, another was moving out of the area, and another was becoming a full time caregiver for a sick loved one. These things took months of time and energy and there was no way to look for work during these periods. Some things are also more important than money, and caring for someone you love takes precedence over everything else.