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During September 19-20, 2012 the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City conducted a national conference on “Future of Workforce Development: Where Research Meets Practice.” One of the breakout sessions — titled “Addressing the Long-Term Unemployed” – included the following introductory note: “The most recent recession and weak recovery have been characterized by historically very high unemployment duration.”

The conference organizers went on to note: “In November 2011, the average duration of unemployment peaked at 40.9 weeks (seasonally adjusted). Almost half of those out of work had been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. A number of issues arise when unemployment becomes long-term, including skills atrophy, a decline in attractiveness of workers to prospective employers, and personal issues such as a decline in feeling of worth.”

Among the breakout session presenters were Stephan Goetz (Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development and Professor, University Park, PA), Adam Looney (The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC), and Clyde McQueen (Full Employment Council, Kansas City, MO). Moderating the session was Tammy Edwards, Vice President of Community Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

The breakout discussion sought to detail “the causes and implications of long-term unemployment and ways in which the problem of long-term unemployment might be addressed.” For more on the conference, click here.

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