About the Problem

America needs more people in the workforce.

The longer someone is out of work, the harder it is to find a job. According to a Princeton study, only 11% of workers were able to find jobs after having been unemployed for 15 months or more.

Workforce

About the Policy

Require long-term unemployed persons to participate in a reemployment or vocational training program that provides the advising, skills and credentials necessary to become employed or reemployed.

Public Support

82% of All Polled
83% of Democrats
86% of Republicans
76% of Independents

Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%

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The 2008 recession produced an unprecedented spike in the number of Americans who are chronically unemployed (seeking a job for more than 27 weeks). While the job market has improved, current levels of long-term unemployment are still more than twice as high as pre-2008 levels and constitute 26 percent of the total share of Americans that are unemployed.

In 2015, 2.7 million Americans were considered chronically unemployed. That’s a problem because those who are unemployed for a long time tend to stay unemployed. According to a Princeton study, only 11% of workers were able to find jobs after having been unemployed for 15 months or more.

There is no simple solution to getting long-term unemployed Americans back to work. Recently, states have been taking the lead.

For example, Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska unveiled a plan last year that provides one-on-one training and counseling for unemployed workers, along with individualized “re-employment” plans that work with local employers to match their needs. Nebraska estimated that 6,800 new workers were added into the workforce as a result and hope to add more over the coming years.

Congress should allocate more funding towards nation-wide projects that mimic local efforts already underway in states like Nebraska.

To reduce chronic unemployment, Congress should require long-term unemployed persons to participate in a reemployment or vocational training program that provides the advising, skills and credentials necessary to become employed or reemployed. This process could be further reinforced with partnerships in industry.