House to Hold Hearing on Long-Term Unemployment
The Ways and Means subcommittee on income security will meet next Thursday to examine how Congress might better address the problem of long-term unemployment, Chairman Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) just announced.
“If we can afford wars, tax cuts, and bank bailouts, then we can certainly afford to maintain programs for workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” McDermott said in a statement. “But we also need to think about additional steps to help those trying to return to work.”
The hearing comes at a good time: As Annie pointed out yesterday, the long-term unemployed (those without work for more than 27 weeks) now represent almost 46 percent of the nation’s jobless population — the highest percentage since the government starting tracking those numbers 62 years ago.
That means that at least 7 million people have been without work for longer than six months. They’ll be anxious to see what McDermott et al. come up with.
Witnesses have yet to be announced.