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Lasting Damage

10:30 AM, Mar 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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Long-term unemployment, in some cases, does not even show up in the jobless figures released monthly by the Labor Department and eagerly anticipated by the political spinners standing by to mold them into partisan shape. Many of those whose unemployment has been prolonged simply give up; something that is confirmed by a recent study from a former Obama administration economic advisor.  As Ben Casselman of 538 writes:

Alan Krueger, who was an assistant secretary of the Treasury from 2009 to 2010 and later served as chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, said Wednesday that he worries many of the long-term unemployed will never work again — and that he wishes the administration had done more to help them before it was too late.

Krueger now teaches at Princeton where he and two colleagues have researched and written a paper.  Among its sobering conclusions:

... few of these long-term unemployed get a job, and fewer still gain steady jobs. Worse, there’s little sign their odds are improving as the economy recovers ...

“An improving economy will help, but it’s not enough,” Krueger said. “Given the scale of the problem, it’s not going to be sufficient.”

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