Trying To Help Millions Of Long-Term Unemployed

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A man helps job seekers with their resumes at a career fair in San Jose, Calif. (Eric Risberg/AP)
A man helps job seekers with their resumes at a career fair in San Jose, Calif. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Even as the U.S. economy slowly improves, long-term unemployment remains a major concern, as more than 4 million Americans have been without work for more than six months. Many of them are well-educated and highly skilled, but they are typically older.

A new project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will try to help the long-term unemployed and study the effects of long-term unemployment. The Institute for Career Transitions, which launches next week, will pair about two dozen people with career counselors or job coaches for free for three months.

The MIT researchers will use the project to try to see what approaches may be effective for helping the long-term unemployed.


Ofer Sharone, professor and an assistant professor in the Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His new book is "Flawed System/Flawed Self: Job Searching and Unemployment Experiences."

Jenner Barrington-Ward, has been out of work since she was laid off in 2008.


Boston Globe: "Sharone and his researchers ... will study the moods, health, and levels of depression among participants, examining how long-term unemployment — and repeated disappointments — affect them, their motivation, and ability to get back to work."

The New York Times: "A five-year spell of unemployment has slowly scrubbed away nearly every vestige of Ms. Barrington-Ward’s middle-class life. She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades. She is now broke and homeless."

This segment aired on November 20, 2013.


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