The Long-Term Unemployment Crisis That Need Not Be

I hope you all saw the piece on 60 Minutes last week (you can go to CBS News and see the story); I found the piece very interesting and very moving.  First, a little background the CBO announced last week that this is the longest period of people out of work for over a year since the Great Depression; over 5 million Americans have been out of work long enough to exhaust their unemployment benefits; and the effective rate of unemployed or underemployed people is over 25 million.  The reason the unemployment rate is going down is because people are stopping looking for work.

Many companies openly state they are only looking for people who are employed, no unemployed will be hired, so don’t bother applying.  This is a travesty, a disgrace and shows the worst of the American spirit.  This makes it all but impossible for someone like me to find a job; and there are millions more just like me.  I haven’t seen any studies but I am sure being over 40 is definitely a deal breaker for most hiring companies.  The long term unemployed deal with many issues – see some of my other blog postings that go into more detail on that.

So, why am I writing this now?  I am writing this now because I would personally like to change this situation.  I would like to contact some of the largest and smallest companies to join me in dealing with this issue head on.  I’d love to speak with the EVP of Coke (or IBM, Apple, Bank of America, etc) to find a special way for the long term unemployed to apply for positions.  I’d like to see Corporate America come out with a leadership position on helping the long term unemployed.  I am one voice in 25 million but I want to try to tackle this issue to help all of us.  I need your help though, if you know of any contacts at large companies please let me know.  I want to change this situation, please join me!

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