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Out-of-Work for a Long Time? Help is on the Way

February 3, 2014
Plain English Version

Erick Varela is a former soldier who found work after being unemployed for a long time.

President Obama is trying to help people who have not held a job for a long time — catch a break.

Many studies show that companies tend to not hire people who have been out-of-work for more than six months. They seem to feel that such people would not make good employees.

The president is urging some of the biggest companies in the nation to commit to changing their hiring approach. Many companies have agreed to change their views.

The president also signed an order committing the federal government to make the same changes.

He said studies suggest that those out of work for a long-time tend to be just as educated and experienced as the newly unemployed. Unemployment may be the result of bad luck. It may be because of where the job seeker lives. Or it may be that he or she is trained in the wrong industry.

The president introduced Erick Varela. He is a former U.S. Army combat infantryman. Since returning from military service in 2008, he has had trouble finding a job. Pacific Gas and Electric Company put him in a training program. He is now an apprentice electrician. He said, “The work gave me a purpose to my life and a sense of direction.”

Nearly four million Americans are considered long-term unemployed. Of course, one expert said, for every long-term unemployed worker who gets a job, another worker will not. However, it is in the country’s best interest to make the chance of getting a job more equal for all workers.

Source: The New York Times                                                                                                                                                  January 31, 2014

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