Imagine your house on fire. The walls crumbling, smoke fills the hallways and it is becoming more difficult to escape. You see your landlord standing there with a phone and a fire extinguisher but he won’t let you use them. Instead, the home burns to the ground and the landlord kicks you out for not doing enough to save it. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it?
Economists and employers are reporting with all certainty that a major cause employment in our country and state is not improving is because of “structural unemployment” and an increasingly widening skill gap.
Economist Lakshman Achuthan says, “The issue is many workers looking for jobs lack the skills for the positions available. It’s a condition known as ‘structural unemployment’.”
With 14 million Americans out of work, it seems to me that cutting job training and education is like withholding the fire extinguisher. Our economy is in the toilet for several reasons and training and education could help resolve much of it.
When people are out of work they are not spending money, being taxed but are likely collecting entitlements. There is more crime, poor health and foreclosed mortgages. Unemployment effects us all immeasurably – even those who still bring home a paycheck.
Half of unemployed Americans have been so for more than 6 months. And nearly one third of those have been unemployed for over a year. It is obvious that the longer someone is without a job, the less employable they become. So not only do these workers have a lack of skills for which to enter into a new field, but their chances decrease with each passing day.
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