How to Deal With the Long-Term Unemployed
1 year ago
Three ways to deal with long-term unemployment
In a so-called recovery where 45% of the unemployed have been out of a job for six months or longer, and a third for longer than a year, there is no escaping the fact that the people in these groups -- the long-term unemployed -- will continue to be a drag on the economy, especially since our general unemployment rate is so high. Many of these long-term are from marginalized groups, and plenty of them are African-American and Latino. The longer people are out of work, the more their skills are dulled, forgetting how to sharply do work activities like work a forklift. If a person has to be retrained, then it's more likely they won't be able to secure a job.
This article from The Atlantic provides graphs on the long-term unemployed like the one below, which shows the share of long-term joblessness among the total unemployed since the recession.
The percentage of long-term has risen sharply since the beginning of the recession and has hovered around 45% for at least the last six months.
What needs to be done? Derek Thompson at The Atlantic gives three suggestions:
Pay them through unemployment insurance, though this may backfire when jobs become available, but some may choose to stay on the benefits. President Obama's American Jobs Act bill provides an extension of unemployment insurance as well as funding for a number of programs to help get the long-term unemployed back into work.
Train them through worker-training programs that help them keep their skills sharpened as well as get certifications for other skills and trades.
Hire them through a program like the Works Progress Administration, which the federal government implemented during the 1930s and 1940s to help survive the Great Depression. In the WPA, the government literally created jobs for manufacturers and artists alike.