Help the Chronically Unemployed
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.
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.
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%
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.
Tell us what you think
Do you support this idea? Or do you think there's a better solution? We want to hear from you.