Politics & Policies

US – Reducing unemployment

The U.S. labor market is still a long way from healed. The unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, down from 10 percent in 2009, is misleading: Long-term unemployment accounts for a much bigger share of the total than usual. Millions who would like full-time jobs are having to work part time. And millions more have given up looking for work and are no longer part of the count.

That’s an awful toll of disappointment and distress. What can be done?

Lack of demand remains the chief problem. The Federal Reserve’s power to make up the shortfall seems to have reached its limit — politically, even if not for economic reasons — and a paralyzed Washington has said no to further fiscal stimulus. One neglected avenue remains, however: helping to connect the unemployed to companies that are doing well and looking to hire.

First, the government should do more to help unemployed workers search for new jobs — and not just in the places where they already happen to live. Studies comparing policies in a range of industrialized countries find that job-search assistance — in the form of job-brokerage services, referrals to training programs and help with the costs of relocating — is good value for money. It makes a difference and it’s cheap.

Subsidies for training or retraining also make sense, so long as they’re carefully designed. This involves bigger outlays, but good training programs can pass the cost-effectiveness test.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  U.S. Unemployment Demands New Ideas – Bloomberg View.

Capture d’écran 2014-07-23 à 12.50.59

Source: Unemployment in the United States – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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