What You Need to Know: Our Push To Get Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work
Tanya Somanader October 15, 2014 09:37 AM EDT
Thanks to the grit and resilience of American workers and business owners, our economy is getting stronger every day. Over the last 55 months, we’ve added 10.3 million jobs — the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record — and the number of job openings rose to its highest level in more than 13 years. We’ve put more people back to work than Japan, Europe, and every other advanced economy combined and the unemployment rate is falling at a faster pace than predicted.
But one of the greatest challenges from the recession was the rise in long-term unemployment. The Great Recession left too many Americans out of a job through no fault of their own and many continue to search for work. Our strong economic growth is beginning to help.
Since December 2013, the number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 900,000, accounting for about 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months.
But there is much more work to do, because — despite this progress — the long-term unemployment rate is at twice its typical level. So who exactly are the long-term unemployed, what are the challenges they face in finding work, and what is President Obama doing to help put people back to work? Here are a few answers to important questions about long-term unemployment in America:
1. How long do you actually have to be unemployed to be considered “long-term unemployed”?
2. Who are the people who are facing long-term unemployment?
3. Why is it so hard for long-term unemployed Americans to find work compared to those who are only unemployed for the short-term?
Click here to see a full list of participating businesses and to learn more about how we’re working with them to put people back to work.
For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/10/15/what-you-need-know-our-push-get-long-term-unemployed-americans-back-work
October 15, 2014
FACT SHEET: Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work
In January, President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are ready to work find jobs, and to help more of the long-term unemployed get back to work. That included unveiling a set of “best practices” being taken by leading employers – including over 80 of the nation’s largest companies – around recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed, to remove some of the barriers that make it harder for them to navigate the hiring process.
Today, building on the President’s call to action, the White House is providing an update on progress since January and additional steps—taken in conjunction with businesses, non-profit leaders, governors and mayors and federal agencies—to help ensure that Americans still looking for work have a fair shot, and American businesses benefit as a result.
Since December, the long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent. The number of long-term unemployed – those unemployed more than 6 months – has fallen by 900,000. This decline accounts for around 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months. But there is still work left to do. As more jobs are created, it is critical that Americans with skills, experience, and a desire to work have every opportunity to get back to work to maximize the full potential of our talent pool.
Today, the White House is announcing:
* $170 Million in DOL Grants to Support Partnerships that Connect the Long-Term Unemployed to Work. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is announcing 23 grants from the Department of Labor’s H-1B funds – totaling $170 million – for programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to help the long-term unemployed return to the workforce. Grants were awarded to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.
* Progress on Business Efforts to Improve Recruiting and Hiring of Long-Term Unemployed. In January, the Administration announced a call to action for businesses to adopt best practices for hiring the long term unemployed and over 300 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – announced they were adopting these best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process. Today, the Vice President, the Director of the National Economic Council, and the Secretary of Labor are meeting with the Chief Human Resource Officers of many of these leading companies who have found innovative ways to better integrate applications from the long-term unemployed into their hiring process. Deloitte Consulting and Rockefeller Foundation are also releasing handbooks, created in consultation with HR departments in many companies, which can be used by employers and long-term unemployed job seekers to return a greater number of people to the workforce.
* Ensuring Federal Hiring Process Gives Long-Term Unemployed Job Applicants a Fair Shot. Following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.
For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/15/fact-sheet-getting-long-term-unemployed-americans-back-work
White House, companies look for ways to hire long-term unemployed
10/15/14 Roberta Rampton – Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden will meet with human resource officers from major U.S. companies at the White House on Wednesday to discuss changes to hiring practices aimed at improving employment prospects for people who have been out of work for a while.
Officials from companies such as Citigroup, CVS Caremark, Boeing and Dow Chemical will talk about steps they have taken when they meet with Biden, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and Jeff Zients, head of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, the White House said.
Perez also will announce $170 million in 23 grants to help train people from the ranks of the long-term unemployed and match them with jobs.
Zients told reporters that qualified people who have a gap on their resume can face “significant artificial barriers” with certain screening practices used to sort through resumes.
“It’s a vicious cycle, as the long-term unemployed are less likely to be offered a job even when they have the exact same resume and qualifications as other applicants,” Zients said on a conference call.
Earlier this year, about 300 companies agreed to tweak their screening, advertising, interviewing and training practices so that candidates who had been out of work for months were not automatically excluded from opportunities.
For example, the White House said Frontier Communications hired more than 250 people from the ranks of the long-term unemployed since January – representing about 20 percent of the company’s hires – because it stopped using resume screens.
For more: http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-companies-look-ways-hire-long-term-041305989–finance.html;_ylt=AwrSyCTkdz5UdyYA4EDQtDMD
$150M available to states to implement or expand
job-driven training programs for laid-off workers
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of up to $150 million in funding through a new Job-Driven National Emergency Grant program to train workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own for jobs in high-demand industries.
These investments will help create or expand employer partnerships that provide opportunities for on-the-job training, Registered Apprenticeships or other occupational training that results in an industry-recognized credential. Funding will also be used to provide services, such as coaching, counseling and direct job placement, that help connect laid-off workers, including the long-term unemployed, with available jobs. Focusing funding on proven, job-driven training strategies is a key component of the Obama administration’s agenda to connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.
“Helping workers acquire the skills that employers say they need is a key way the Labor Department fulfills the president’s vision of opportunity for all,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants will provide states with critical funding to implement and expand proven strategies so that workers can secure a foothold in the middle class and businesses can grow.”
In addition to expanding work-based learning strategies — which recent studies show increase employment and earnings outcomes — grantees will also develop strong partnerships between workforce and industry organizations and align services with other federal, state or local programs, such as Unemployment Insurance, Workforce Investment Act, and Trade Adjustment Assistance programs. Funds may also be used to implement innovative approaches, such as:
* ob coaching, navigation and job-matching models that help dislocated workers, particularly the long-term unemployed, receive the specialized services they need to rapidly re-enter the workforce;
* using technology and social media to recruit participants, improve job search tools, provide distance learning opportunities, and effectively collect and disseminate labor market information;
* specialized services for laid-off workers, such as financial counseling and one-on-one coaching; and
* developing employer outcome measures to track employer satisfaction and success.
Up to $150 million in grants ranging from $500,000 to $6 million are being made available to states, territories and federally-recognized tribes through the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund. Applications must be received by May 27 to be considered.
For more: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20140714.htm
Helping the Long-Term Unemployed Get Back to Work
Gene Sperling and Valerie Jarrett February 10, 2014 11:29 AM EDT
In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama called attention to a stubborn legacy of the Great Recession that remains despite the progress we have made in creating new jobs: a historically high number of Americans who are ready and eager to work, but have found themselves among the ranks of the long-term unemployed.
Although many of these Americans could help employers fill their hiring needs if given the chance, they often face particular barriers in getting back to work. Research shows that the long-term unemployed are frequently overlooked and sometimes excluded from job opportunities – one study found that candidates who had been out of work eight months were called back for interviews only about half as often as candidates who had been out of work one month, even with an otherwise identical résumé.
“I’ve heard from too many of these folks,” President Obama told a group of CEOs and business leaders the week of his State of the Union address. “They fill out 100 applications, 200 applications. They’re sending out résumés, still finding time to volunteer in their community, or helping out at church. Sometimes they have more experience and education and skill than newly unemployed Americans.”
“They just need that chance,” he said.
President Obama has made clear that there are actions that we need to take together with Congress – from extending emergency unemployment insurance to investing in areas like infrastructure and manufacturing that would strengthen demand now – to help the long-term unemployed get back to work. But the President is also committed to taking steps in partnership with businesses, non-profits, mayors, and governors and anyone else ready to address this challenge. That’s why he came together with CEOs of leading companies who announced they were signing onto new best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed, designed to ensure the long-term unemployed receive a fair shot in the hiring and recruiting process. These best practices include:
* Ensuring advertising does not discourage or discriminate against the unemployed
* Reviewing screening and other recruiting procedures so that they do not intentionally or inadvertently disadvantage individuals based solely on their unemployment status
* Using recruitment practices that cast a broad net and encourage all qualified candidates to apply
* Sharing best practices for success in hiring the long-term unemployed within their companies and across their supply chains and the greater business community
More than 300 companies have signed onto these best practices – including 80 of the nation’s largest businesses, 20 of whom are members of the Fortune 50. To ensure that the federal government leads by example, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum that will ensure federal hiring does not put the unemployed at a disadvantage in the hiring process. And he announced that the Department of Labor would use $150 million in existing resources to support “Ready to Work” Partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations, and America’s public workforce system that will provide more of the long-term unemployed individuals with services and training that can help connect them to middle and high-skill jobs.
For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/02/10/helping-long-term-unemployed-get-back-work