Dems warn long-term jobless could derail recovery

August 4, 2011 - 12:43 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of long-term unemployed workers — those out of a job for six months or more — remains at near-record levels, an ominous sign that could derail any economic recovery.

That's the conclusion of a report from congressional Democrats that recommends new job search and training programs to help the long-term unemployed get back to work.

About 42 percent of the nation's 14.4 million jobless are considered long-term unemployed. That includes disproportionately high rates for workers 55 and older, those with only a high school degree, workers in construction or manufacturing and African American workers.

The report from Congress' Joint Economic Committee says many of these workers suffer because their skill sets no longer fit the needs of hiring employers. It suggests more investment in job training.