Today, President Obama is going to ask a group of private-sector companies to help him try to solve a problem his administration's policies have seriously worsened, namely long-term unemployment.
Of course, that's not how Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, framed the situation. All he would concede is that "long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem." After the jump, in two graphs from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, we'll see the frightening level of long-term unemployment Obama's economic policies have created – and how the horrid numbers have failed to come down significantly in the 4-1/2 years since the recession officially ended.
The percentage of unemployed Americans who have been in that circumstance for 27 weeks or more has never been more than 26 percent since the government began tracking that statistic in 1948 — until Obamanomics came along, at which point the percentage shot up to 45 percent:
It's still less than halfway back to coming in under the previous record, let alone anything the resembles normalcy.
Likewise, the average duration of unemployment has never been more than 21 weeks since the government began tracking that statistic — until Obamanomics came along, at which point the percentage shot up to 40 weeks:
The average is still over 35 weeks, and shows no signs of coming down.
Even these horrible numbers are arguably understated in the current climate, because they ignore those who have given up looking for work or have dropped out of the workforce for other reasons.
Lederman owed it to his readers to tell them that the seriousness of the plight of the long-term unemployed is by far the worst seen since the Great Depression. Of course, because it would make Dear Leader look bad, he didn't.
The AP reporter also add an undertone of surprise that a certain large company would participate in the meeting. Also note that Obama is unilaterally choosing to throw more money at the types of programs which have had little past success (bolds are mine):
Obama asks CEOs for help hiring long-term jobless
... CEOs from companies like Apple, Walmart, Visa and Boeing are heading to the White House on Friday to deliver commitments to do their part. More than 300 companies have signed on so far, the White House said.
Although the unemployment rate has declined to 6.7 percent, long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem. The concern is that the longer someone is out of a job, the harder it gets to find a new one. Companies are less likely to hire people who haven't used their skills in months or wonder why another employer hasn't already snatched them up.
With that concern in mind, the Obama administration has been working for months to exact commitments from companies to ensure their hiring practices don't discriminate against long-term job-seekers.
That includes doing away with candidate-screening methods that disqualify applicants based on their current employment status. It also means ensuring that jobs ads don't discourage unemployed workers from applying.
... Among the companies taking part: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and 21st Century Fox. Sperling said he emailed the conservative business mogul about the initiative, and Murdoch personally wrote back to say he supported it.
Obama also plans to sign a presidential memo Friday directing the federal government to apply the same standards to its own hiring practices. And the Obama administration will direct $150 million in grants toward partnership programs that retrain, mentor and place unemployed workers.
Lederman didn't explain why anyone should be surprised that News Corp., of all the companies identified, might not have wanted to participate. I say it's because he can't.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.