Report Shows Need for 
Action on Unemployment


March 28, 2014


The long-term unemployed are finding it nearly impossible to get hired according to a new report.

More than 1 million workers have been unemployed for six months or longer, and a new report from the Brookings Institute shows that it is unlikely that most of them will find their way back into the labor market without a concentrated effort by Congress and business leaders.


Report authors Alan Krueger, Judd Cramer and David Cho says that the longer a person is out of work, the harder it is for them to find a job.

The New Republic summarized their findings:

Among workers who report being unemployed for more than 27 weeks between 2008 and 2012, only 11 percent had found steady, full-time employment a year later. Thirty percent were still looking for work and 35 percent had dropped out of the labor force. The remaining 24 percent had found intermittent employment or worked part-time.

Despite the declining unemployment rate, the long-term unemployed are finding it nearly impossible to get hired – largely due to discrimination by potential employers.

They find that the long-term unemployed have just as hard of time finding work in in states with lower than average unemployment rates than in states with higher levels.

Congress and the business community can do something. As the report states:

Overcoming the obstacles that prevent many of the long-term unemployed from finding gainful employment, even in good times, will likely require a concerted effort by policy makers, social organizations, communities and families.

Firstly, Congress needs to extend unemployment benefits. Benefits expired for those out-of-work for 26 weeks or longer in January, cutting off the last life line for many jobless Americans.

The Senate passed legislation to extended unemployment insurance, but House Speaker John Boehner continues to block it from coming up in the lower chamber.

The Brookings researchers also advocate financial incentives for companies that hire the long-term unemployed and federal- and state-funded jobs programs targeted toward getting jobless Americans back to work.

In February, President Obama convened a meeting of more than a dozen top corporate leaders – including IBEW signatory companies like Pacific Gas & Electric – to encourage them to revamp their hiring practices to help the long-term unemployed.

Click here to let Rep. Boehner know that you want a vote on extending unemployment insurance.