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Can long-term unemployment be solved?

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By Reid Kanaley
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Long-term unemployment -- being jobless for more than six months -- in this bad economy has become a serious national problem. So far, though, nobody seems to know what to do about it.

  • The "scariest thing in the world" is long-term unemployment, says Matthew O'Brien, an associate editor at the Atlantic magazine. In this article, O'Brien says there are two labor markets now: one for people who have been out of work less than six months, and one for the long-termers. And woe be to the latter group. The pattern is clear -- employers discriminate against the long-term unemployed.
  • Lawmakers were no-shows, mostly, at a congressional hearing last week on the long-term-unemployment phenomenon, says this blog post at the National Journal site. Four of the 20 members of the Joint Economic Committee straggled in for the hearing. Writer Niraj Chokshi noted: "It stands to reason that lawmakers who often decry the high jobless rate would want to be seen publicly trying to tackle the problem, right? Well, apparently not."
  • Solutions offered at the hearing get an airing from Chokshi in this additional post -- perhaps for the benefit of missing lawmakers. Economic growth is probably the only effective answer.
  • How can you break out of long-term unemployment? This post on the Monster job site has suggestions. Some focus on your mental state. There's advice to get exercising to improve your health and mood, and to structure your daily schedule. Others note the need for some face-to-face networking.
  • For a first-person account of long-term unemployment -- with a happy ending -- read this post by Fran Hopkins at AOL Jobs. Hopkins, "50-plus" and unemployed for 34 months, says it's important to "remember you have value," to sift through all the advice you get, and consider hiring a "career coach."
Story tags » JobsUnemployment



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