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Bad News Continues for Long-Term Unemployed [AUDIO]

Many experts predict the unemployment rate will drop next month, but not for the reason you might expect.

William Andrew, Getty Images

“When emergency jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed run out at the beginning of the new year, the unemployment rate could actually take a statistical dip,” said Pat O’Keefe, director of economic research at Cohn Reznick, “because what may happen is, those discouraged job seekers may totally withdraw from the labor market.”

He said the most crucial issue is that the country’s slow growth and recovery are making “very little progress” in decreasing the number of Americans who still are not working.

According to O’Keefe, we need to revamp job training programs and make sure educational opportunities are offered to fit the most in-demand jobs available.

“The fact that so many people have been out of work for years tells us these are willing workers who need some retraining, some reeducation, some relocation to prepare themselves and then actively move into employment,” said O’Keefe. “Without those types of interventions, a lot of these people are watching the parade pass them by.”

He added the bottom line here is simple: too few jobs, and too slow a rate of job growth.

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