Published on 2012/02/17

Long-Term Unemployment Self Perpetuating

The longer people are unemployed, the more likely it is they will remain unemployed. That is the conclusion of an analysis completed by the Congressional Budget Office, reported on Friday by Arthur Delaney of the Huffington Post.

According to the CBO’s analysis, long-term unemployed people carry a stigma of “poor worker” that makes employers wary of hiring them. Moreover, according to Delaney, the longer someone remains unemployed, the more their skills erode. This leaves long-term unemployed individuals disadvantaged across numerous fronts as they struggle to return to the workforce.

As of January 2012, 5.5 million workers had been unemployed for six months or more. Of those 5.5 million, over one-third had been out of work for 99 weeks or longer making them ineligible for unemployment insurance.

“Long-term unemployment may thus produce a self-perpetuating cycle wherein protracted spells of unemployment heighten employers’ reluctance to hire those individuals, which in turn leads to even longer spells of joblessness,” the report suggests.

Perhaps the best answer to long-term unemployment is continuous skill enhancement and development?

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