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Marginally attached workers

October 10th, 2011

In the United States, 2.5 million “marginally attached” individuals who wanted work have given up looking for it, according to the new US Bureau of Labor Statistics report. This represents little change from one year ago.

Marginally attached workers were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.” Sixty per cent of these “marginally attached” individuals cited school and family responsibilities, according to the BLS. The remaining 40% were just plain “discouraged.” “Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.”

Hiring authorities appear to have little sympathy for those who have been out of the workforce for long periods, according to Kathy Cisco, Senior Recruiter at ABLE. “Managers seem to think that skill-sets have expiration dates. Many won’t even look at someone who has been out of work for a long time.”

Bottom line, long term unemployment costs in lost wages and also in lost interviews. The latter, not getting in front of a hiring authority, is an especially expensive, if hard to measure, opportunity cost.

However, all is not lost. Volunteer, part time, or temporary work, as well as retraining, helps to maintain the value proposition of the job seeker. Be sure to let your resume show that you haven’t become “marginally attached” to your future.

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