Entries in Unemployed (11)


Job Seekers May Have Luck in Early 2013

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you've been looking for a job, you may have some luck early next year.

The employment firm Manpower says 17 percent of American businesses plan on hiring new workers in the first three months of 2013.

"Twelve of the 13 industry super sectors that we survey actually said that they would add.  So we've got wholesale and retail trades, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, information, financial activity, education and health services," Beth Herman of Manpower tells ABC News Radio.

The vast majority of employers, however, said they would keep their staff level the same.  While that doesn't help the unemployed, Herman says it's a relief.

"We're not adding but we also don't plan to cut.  We don't plan to cut because we're confident that we can hold on to this team.  We can meet the payroll.  We can make a profit.  We have enough business today.  We have enough business in our pipeline to justify the staff level we have," she says.

As tepid as the labor market may be, Herman says there have been no setbacks in hiring in the last 15 quarters.  Companies are adding to their payrolls at a slow pace.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Unemployed in Mississippi? Blame Your Saggy Pants

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The local government of Hinds County, Miss., may force residents to pull their pants up in the hope of pulling the region up by its bootstraps.

In a hearing Monday, county officials brought new legislation regarding sagging pants to the table in an effort to weed out what the ban’s supporters say is an “indecent” wardrobe choice that’s keeping the Jackson area youth out of work.

While the question of whether banning saggy pants will solve the Jackson area’s unemployment issues is still up for debate, the severity of the area’s economic state is not.  As of June, unemployment at Hinds County stands at 9.1 percent, with approximately 22.5 percent of residents living below the poverty line as of 2010.

The Hinds County saggy pants ban would make sagging one’s pants more than three inches below the hip or exposing underwear or skin in that area a misdemeanor.  First-time offenders would only receive a warning; following the second offense, the offender must pay a $10 fine and complete two hours of community service.  If the offender is a minor, the minor’s parents would also be fined.

Supporters of the ban, such as Supervisor Kenneth Stokes, say that outlawing sagging pants will help to adjust the culture of Hinds County.

“Here in Mississippi, the majority of the elderly or the older people have a bad feeling about the sagging pants,” Stokes said.  “When you have a person with sagging pants coming to a job interview, they have a worse chance than someone who comes to the interview with their pants not sagging.”

Representatives from the Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union have decried the proposed ordinance as particularly discriminatory against black males and an infringement on personal freedom of expression, according to ACLU representative Bear Atwood.

“The saggy pants ban would be unconstitutional,” she said.  “Hinds County is a predominantly black county, Jackson is predominantly black, and our real concern is that this is, intentional or not, going to end up targeting black neighborhoods and, for kids who have done nothing other than wear their pants too low, brings them into contact with the police unnecessarily.”

Other dissenters have focused their discontent on whether the legislation as it stands is effective.  Hinds County Supervisor Phil Fisher stated that he is opposed to the saggy pants ordinance “because it doesn’t offer an enforcement mechanism with any bite.”

Fisher referred to the legislation as a “feel-good measure” for the board and “a waste of time for law enforcement,” saying that “parents should raise their own children and not rely on law enforcement to raise them.”

County deputies would be in charge of enforcing the ordinance, though Fisher says the lack of accountability in the current legislation makes it likely that the ban will go unnoticed.  He advocates requiring monthly reports from law enforcement on the number of tickets issued, as well as higher penalties, with a $100 fine for a first offense.

Stokes said that banning sagging pants will help to discourage students from dropping out of high school, and also prepare them for employment later on.  He also emphasized that the ban may not be universally applicable, but that it’s the right decision for Hinds County.

“What we’re saying here in Jackson, Mississippi, in Hinds County, may not fit in Atlanta,” he said.  “We don’t have a whole lot of jobs here, and we have to be sure that our children qualify for the jobs that we do have.”

The Hinds County board of supervisors will vote on the measure during its Aug. 20 meeting.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More Unemployed Americans to Lose Jobless Benefits

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Unemployment checks will soon run out for many people who've been hit the hardest by the recession: the long-term unemployed.

Thousands are expected to lose their jobless benefits this summer, pushing the number who have been cut off this year to nearly half a million.

The federal extension of unemployment checks is a hot issue.  Some states have cut initial benefits to less than 26 weeks, and others have limited eligibility.

Many Republicans say long term benefits discourage the long term unemployed from seeking work, while Democrats argue that many people have faced extreme difficulty finding employment in a weak labor market. 

The irony is that cutting people from benefits lowers the official unemployment rate.  Only those who are officially seeking work are counted by the government. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


The Unemployed Predict Length of 2012 Job Search

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Out-of-work Americans differ in opinions when it comes to how long it will take them to find a job in 2012, according to a new survey released Thursday by a famed global outplacement and executive coaching firm.

Out of 600 people who called a job-search advice helpline, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. found that 30 percent of them believe they'll get work within three months.  That's an 18-percent boost from last year at this time.

But there's also added gloominess from many frustrated job-seekers.  Ten percent think that finding a new employer will take them over a year -- up from 4 percent in 2010.

In fact, most of the callers to the hotline say it will be tougher to get a job next year.  The percentage of those claiming the search will last seven to nine months is up 14 percent from last year's survey, while slightly more this year than last say the hunt will stretch from 10 to 12 months.

John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, concluded, "There was a lot more uncertainty a year ago.  Almost half of last year’s callers had no idea how long the job search would take.  This year, callers were either certain of the job market’s improvement or certain of its continued weakness."

Challenger said that when times are tough, as they are now, even high-quality candidates can expect a search of four to six months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The Long-Term Unemployed Diss Obama's Jobs Plan

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama continues promoting the American Jobs Act across the country, criticism of his jobs plan is coming from a surprising quarter -- the unemployed themselves.

The longest of the long-term unemployed, so-called "99ers" whose benefits have run out, say the president's plan ignores their needs. They say that while it gives employers an $8 billion incentive to hire people out of work, it leaves them free to discriminate against 99ers -- who now number some seven million -- and to hire instead the more recently unemployed.

The president's latest speech on job creation in North Carolina Wednesday came amidst increasing public skepticism of his $447 billion plan.  A Bloomberg poll released earlier that day found that 51 percent of Americans don't think the plan will help lower unemployment.  Only 36 percent approve of his efforts to create jobs, and the president's approval rating stands at the lowest of his presidency -- 45 percent.

Mariana DiFlorio, a 99er who lives outside Charleston, South Carolina, says she's disappointed in Obama's plan.

"It says what he would do to put construction workers back to work; it talks about the needs of teachers and young people and public service workers who need jobs," she says.  But, she adds, it all but ignores the plight of those like herself who have gone so long without work that all their benefits have finally run out.

"I think his priorities are wrong," says DiFlorio.  "His list is a little backwards."

In her view, the most help for the unemployed ought to go first to veterans, then to first-responders, then to 99ers.  Everybody else who's unemployed, she thinks, ought to get in line after that.

Gregg Rosen, president of The American 99ers Union, a group that champions the needs of the long-term unemployed, said he, too, is disappointed with Obama's jobs plan.  It's a fine thing, in his view, that it provides some $8 billion in new incentives for employers to hire the long-term unemployed.  But Rosen and his group take issue with the definition of that term.

Under the president's plan, employers would get a special tax credit of up to $4,000 for each unemployed person they hire who has been out of work for six months or more.  That incentive, thinks Rosen, could actually work against the interests of 99ers, since it leaves employers free to discriminate between the short-term and longer-term unemployed.

"Incentives like this have been tried before," he says, "and the unfortunate fact is, some employers have tried to work around the system" by hiring only the most recent jobless.  He cites job notices in newspapers that say "long-term unemployed need not apply" -- or words to that effect.

The Obama plan, he says, leaves "a gap where it's still possible to discriminate against 99ers."  He fears employers will be happy to take the $4,000, will be happy to hire somebody six months out of work, and will be happy not to hire somebody else out of work two years or more.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jobs Survey: Americans Out of Work Longer, Taking Pay Cuts

db2stock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new nationwide study shows people are out of work much longer in this weak economy and forced to take desperate measures.

Nearly 6 in 10 unemployed workers have been looking for a job for over a year, according to the Rutgers University study, and 1 out of 3 unemployed Americans have been out of work for more than two years.

“More than half of those people who've become re-employed took a job simply just to get by,” said the study’s author, Cliff Zukin.

The study shows people are taking jobs they don't like, taking major pay cuts, and moving to other parts of the country to find work.

“Half of the people who found jobs took a pay cut,” Zukin said.

The research paints a heart-wrenching picture of how losing your job these days can devastate your life.

“People are telling us they're having trouble sleeping,” Zukin said. “They're getting in more quarrels at home, they're not going out socially, they're losing contact with close friends.”

More than half of those surveyed believe a real economic recovery is three years away.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Extends Foreclosure Program for Unemployed

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The day after President Obama admitted his policies have not provided adequate support for struggling homeowners, the White House announced Thursday that unemployed homeowners with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration will now have up to a year of forbearance on their mortgage payments.
“The current unemployment forbearance programs have mandatory periods that are inadequate for the majority of unemployed borrowers,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said.  “Today, 60 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for more than three months and 45 percent have been out of work for more than six.  Providing the option for a year of forbearance will give struggling homeowners a substantially greater chance of finding employment before they lose their home.”
The administration hopes the adjustment will set a new standard for the mortgage industry to provide more robust assistance to struggling homeowners seeking employment.
Donovan would like to see the decision encourage other loan services, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to also extend the period that unemployed borrowers can delay foreclosure. “Our hope is that this will have broader effects,” he told reporters Thursday.
At the White House Twitter town hall meeting Wednesday, Obama brought up the shortcomings of his housing policies when asked about the mistakes he has made in handling the recession.
“I think that the continuing decline in the housing market is something that hasn't bottomed out as quickly as we expected, and so that's continued to be a big drag on the economy,” the president said. “We've had to revamp our housing program several times to try to help people stay in their homes and try to start lifting home values up.  But of all the things we've done, that's probably been the area that's been most stubborn to us trying to solve the problem.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


More Laid Off Workers Finding Employment, Survey Says

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- In yet another sign that the U.S. jobs market is improving, more laid off workers are finding new positions, according to a new survey released on Tuesday.

After surveying over 900 full-time workers who were laid off in the past year, found that 59 percent of them -- three in five workers -- were able to find new positions.  The latest figure is an improvement from 2010, when 55 percent of laid off workers were able to find a new job.

The employment firm said opportunities are opening up in all industries and that more people are finding work at the same pay as their old jobs.

But despite recent improvements, long-term unemployment is still very high, and the jobless rate is way above normal levels.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jobless Need Not Apply?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - Federal officials have begun a probe into concerns that some employers may be unfairly preventing the unemployed from applying for job openings.

Although there is no specific laws that protect the jobless, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said they will look into whether it is indeed a violation of job discrimination laws.

Concerns were raised after reports surfaced that some companies and recruiting firms had discouraged the unemployed from applying in job advertisements.

Chairman of the EEOC, Jacqueline Berrien, said at a hearing Wednesday that the commission will see what they can do to address the issue.

"We'll take a close look at what we heard and consider if there's anything we might need to do to clarify standards," she said.

The Labor Department says it is unclear how widespread the practice is.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


College Grads Suffer Worst Unemployment in Four Decades

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – The percentage of jobless college graduates is at its worst level in four decades, as 2.4 million higher-educated are unemployed, according to the USA Today.

The percentage of Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree who are unemployed reached 5.1 percent, the highest figure since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking the number in 1970.

Meanwhile, national unemployment rose to 9.8 percent from 9.6 percent last month. Those with advanced educations have a massive impact on the overall rate of unemployment as that group accounts for 30 percent of the labor force.

Unemployment levels for lower-educated individuals however, still remain much higher. Ten percent of high school graduates are unemployed and an even larger 15.7 percent without high schools diplomas are jobless.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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