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Senator -- thank you so much for being here with us thank you.
So what jobs numbers -- 175000.
New jobs added.
Unemployment rate is now at seven point 6% so -- ticked up 1% from seven point 5%.
Is this good news.
Good news that the numbers of jobs are expanding side.
We still face a very.
Serious structural unemployment problem relating to the long term jobless.
And the numbers are higher than ever before in our history more than a 100000 in Connecticut.
Have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks.
And around the country the same phenomenon is -- -- so.
There needs to be action to deal with the -- little long term unemployed people who've been out of work.
And -- joblessness.
Not only those numbers overall but their individual situation because the longer they're unemployed the harder it's fine work.
So every month we look at the jobs numbers and we look at the unemployment rate seven point 5% I mean it is definitely gone down over the last.
A couple of months.
However many economists say that it's not necessarily a the best indicator of things.
That you know a lot of people -- actually leaving the labor force entirely.
Do you think that it's a good indicator.
As the unemployment rate comes down more people come back and labor force and that's a good thing for the nation -- We can make use of their talents and skills.
But right now they may be discouraged -- may be working at home they may be part time employed.
And the nation needs to be ready for unemployment numbers to be stable for -- more people coming.
Workforce having been out.
As the numbers of jobs increases and the opportunities for good.
As you mentioned twelve million people are unemployed.
Almost five million of those people are long term unemployed meaning they've been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.
What is that number means -- five million.
Five million is a searing indictment.
And a call to action.
To make sure that we provide skill training.
And these people want to work as well as the job opportunities and there -- jobs.
Error as I go around in Connecticut many.
Small and medium size businesses tell me we have jobs can't find people with the right skills to fill them.
And we need to make sure.
That we provide those skills in the training people need to fill jobs that are open and jobs that will be created.
So how do we do that.
There are a number of ways to provide children.
One is the kind of program so -- is running.
Around the state and -- around the country another is our vocational.
And technical schools.
They are our young people being trained in the kinds of hi tech manufacturing.
Exists now in the state manufacturers are coming back.
But they need people with the right computer skills and other training to fill those jobs and our Community Colleges.
Are -- means as well they are offering welding and other courses that are needed in today's work place.
There's been a lot of attention of at the last.
Two to three years about long term unemployed sixty minutes did a great piece Scott -- recorded last may.
And while there has been a lot of news coverage it doesn't really seem like much has changed long term unemployment is still very high.
And these people are still desperate to find work.
Long term unemployment in numbers that we've seen the magnitude is so -- He's really a call to action for the country it is every bit and is expansion in its threat to our.
Security our economic security as any problem we face and that's why training.
Are so vital and -- sponsored measures like -- Pathways to work program.
And the community college innovation that will provide the resources.
These people are part of our.
Skill base and they are vitally important to our economy can you taught me a little bit about the -- network program.
Pathways to work basically contemplates that people will have the kind of opportunities that they do and Joseph -- -- program.
That that program will be given resources and others like it.
So that people out of the workforce or entering the workforce will be matched with the skills they need to match the workplace needs.
And -- back workers for folks who need literally.
Back to work him now for awhile -- among the long term unemployed or not even count it among their numbers.
I know you have gone to a platform to employment roundtable I had actually -- a few weeks prior.
And one man actually said that.
He would work for free for three to six months just so he would no longer be classified.
As part of the long term unemployed because he feels like -- and so much discrimination.
People want to work it's in their nature their DNA and particularly so many of these long term unemployed.
Who were employed for most of their lives after all they've contributed -- Giving back.
To our society.
They want to work but they also deserve to be paid and unpaid work simply is no substitute.
No substitute for.
The kinds productive work that should be compensated.
But just the fact that he would work for nothing just shows the desperation.
I mean if I had to think of one word to describe what I saw.
And not you know not to say they're desperate people that they're desperate.
To find work and if it's me it's my next question another person I met a woman said that she felt has -- -- country.
Has forgotten that she feels as though this group of people has been forgotten.
How are we going to help our -- back.
These stories are gripping absolutely riveting in there emotional force.
As well as their appeal to the country.
With people who have so much to contribute and we need to send these folks a message that they haven't been forgotten.
And provide them the tools they need literally the skills.
-- Require and deserve to come back to work because they want.
To contribute answer.
But I mean you tried to pass legislation.
It didn't pass so what's next.
The obstacles are partisan gridlock so frustrating to me.
Maybe the most frustrating part of my job the paralysis.
That results from partisan fighting.
Has also -- many of the measures that I and others have supported.
To put people back to work provide pathways back to work.
And that's a demand and a challenge and obligation.
There's also an opportunity because we have these.
Historic needs in our country for investment.
In roads bridges.
Railroads as we've seen most recently other kinds of facilities public.
Where with all the basis for our country infrastructure that is important not only to our quality of life now but two generations are.
Children and their children.
We will be challenged.
Not only by whether we put these people back to work but.
Whether we build an America for the future and leave in America that is better than one we found just as every generation before us.
Has done and that consists of putting people back to work and putting them to work on projects and programs that will make a difference in the quality of our roads and bridges.
And airports and other kinds of infrastructure.
As well as our educational system that in turn is necessary.
Provide skills for the future and this all sounds great to me but again I mean as we all know there's a huge deficits so.
How do we figure that out because all these programs cost money.
These programs cost money but they are investments.
And right now the very bluntly.
The United States treasury can borrow at near zero interest rates not that we should borrow frivolously.
But to continue the growth -- our economy and create jobs we need to stimulate.
The consumer demand that is so important I'm not for a big stimulus program but investment.
In our infrastructure is important.
We can invest.
I'm making Smart cuts in other programs.
We can close military bases.
That we have abroad.
Keep the military bases like the one in New Haven are sub base that are important make Smart cuts and the same time raise revenue.
By closing some of the loopholes.
And tax breaks and subsidies that exists.
Give me an example to us.
-- companies that send jobs overseas.
Code can be improved so as to close those loopholes and end those subsidies.
For special interest and at the same time make Smart cuts that is our balance.
And that balanced approach can enable our investment in infrastructure.
-- -- -- Business I talked -- you know people who own their own businesses every day.
And they -- really trying to stay lean so there's just a little bit of a contradiction there because.
-- while they do want to hire when everything that's going on with insurance and the rest of it makes them scared you frankly.
And so then these people that I met at the roundtable -- some of the people -- then have to deal with the repercussions of that.
What he said that.
The businesses particularly small and medium sized business in the statement they're poised to hire more people.
If the economy.
Gains that escape velocity.
Escaped from recession sufficient velocity.
Maintain momentum they will hire and many have job openings right now.
But particularly if we make Smart cuts.
To federal spending and instead invest in.
Airports that are.
Good for our future -- both our economy small medium sized businesses will hire and they're the ones -- -- the biggest source of job growth.
Housing is cutting back it's a really exciting it's kind of leading the economy out of some bad times it seems is that there is a recovery going on.
But a lot of these people told me they felt like they were the sacrificial lambs that this recovery that people wanted so badly for things to get better.
That they were willing to forget about.
The people who have been out of work for two -- three years and in a way dale wants want -- to just say.
Leave the labor.
One of my colleagues in the senate used to say.
We all do better when we all do better.
And we will do better as a country when we all do better including.
Folks who've been out of jobs for long periods of time we need them back in the work force it's in our national interest they know that.
Where should know it and our businesses should -- as well and we may have to make that special effort to provide them with skills.
For jobs that are opening now opening for the fifth and -- that will -- but we have an interest as a nation in doing it.
Five million people out of work there five million jobs out then that.
Unemployment will never be zero never has been in our history.
And the new normal may be somewhat higher in terms of the rate of unemployment because we measure differently and we have a different.
Age population now so that the number may be somewhat higher than it has been traditionally as a measure a full employment.
But that ought to be our goal full employment for people want work.
Ought to be oracle.
Now you're on the special committee on aging I -- A lot of these people that we're talking about that our long term unemployed are also 55 and -- actually.
From the statistics I read over 50% of these people are 55 and older so how do we combat.
Coupled with long term unemployment.
There are laws against age discrimination.
But more important and the laws are the measure of our moral intent and our commitment.
To hire people regardless of age for openings.
Where the skills -- there and we need to provide these people with skills.
A particular age or you it is the skills that make those people that people.
And the same is true by the way of veterans I'm on the veterans.
Committee as well veterans affairs committee deals with.
Among other things the high rate -- on unemployment among veterans in certain age group.
Demographic ranges for veterans have astonishingly.
And alarmingly high rates of unemployment.
Particularly in the younger groups they may be as high as 20/20 5% or higher and we have an obligation of those veterans.
Which goes beyond the normal.
Responsibility we have veterans.
Should not be.
Expected to lead this country fight for our nation and then have to fight for a job when they come home and be denied it.
And counseling and skill training along with health care that makes them fully employed -- couldn't agree with you more.
Though with ageism a lot of people say they are hired because of insurance reasons you can understand the business -- Who is just trying to keep his business alive who doesn't want to hire someone who's 55 having to pay insurance because there -- certain costs that.
Com with hiring someone and the perception is hiring some an older it could cost more.
And people who are 55 have at least not a good twenty years in the work force if your tail and any kind of discrimination against -- I think is very.
Unwise from a purely self interest is standpoint these people have a lifetime of experience leadership skills.
And -- work ethic.
Really goes beyond their age and they ought to be among -- prime candidates for -- So even if congress does pass legislation.
-- discrimination against long term unemployed how to reinforce that.
Any kind of discrimination.
That -- Is -- force by evidence just like any other violation of law and the evidence can consist of statements made or documents.
And other kinds of in the issue or evidence of intent the intent to discriminate and ageism.
All require evidence.
Approve a violation of law and the same is true long term unemployed when that is -- basis for discriminate.
I -- -- that roundtable people said that you know mono and outwardly said that's not why they were -- are hiring the person.
The perception is if you've been out of work for a year or two years there's something wrong with you why haven't you been hired so how do we change the mindset of other American.
There needs to be a renewed consciousness.
About our obligations the country for the long term unemployed.
These people very often.
Are unemployed through no fault of their own they want to come back to work but they needed skills that make them again I will members of the -- reports.
And they even after they have the skills -- they still can't find work a lot of these people that I spoke to you had gone threat.
-- platform to employment and still couldn't find platforms to employment may need to be expanded.
And evolved in terms of the way.
It operates to meet the new challenges.
The longer term unemployed.
I don't think platform to employment gives up on -- We can't give up on any individual.
They're not gonna give up on itself and that's why they're going to try to get the skills they need to return to the workforce no matter how long they've been unemployed.
The mindset Dow has changed since the beginning of the recession because when people first lost their jobs I think a lot of them are actually holding.
Back in the waiting to try to get the same job or even a better job because that was the understanding.
Only more recently have have we realize that.
Being out of work is actually was really hurting there chances of employment again so do you think something has -- There's been any profound and fundamental change.
In the nature.
Employment in this country people who are.
May not and often do not return to -- -- out.
Used to be that when people were laid off it was for a period kind of just went back field.
And our economy now has changed a lot of people who are laid off.
Will not be going back to their old jobs because their jobs may not exist anymore our economy is moving forward such.
And we need rapid pace.
And technology is changing so quickly that the jobs of the future.
May be different from the ones we have now much more.
Demanding in terms of computer science and skill training we're going to be developing.
More and more.
As opposed to the machine tooling that involved.
In effect -- away immaterial thing.
Taking away immaterial from a block.
Instead it will be adding material or to eliminate a lot of the ways that technology.
Requires skills -- -- And new jobs.
And -- people will not be going back to their jobs they had before but that is a good thing in -- way because it means our economy is advancing.
Technology is changing that's for the -- what we need to do.
-- -- changed people's skills for the better.
And that's the challenge that.
Platform to work pathway back to work my bill helps address and what our economy as a whole needs to do.
So what would you tell those people -- I mean you work kinda have to actually go there talk to them.
What would you tell them never give up.
Never give out.
There will be skill training our economy.
We have an obligation provided it's in our self interest to do it and it will happen.
And it may not happen right away but.
Will be award and -- Blumenthal you have done so much for this country.
Do you feel like.
In this Sunday you are able to get the things done that you want to get down again passing legislation federally outlawing discrimination against long term unemployment man.
Really helpful to a lot of these people obviously you're trying but does ever get frustrating these changes are step by step nothing will happen.
All at once.
And I am proud to be.
Trying to make a difference for the better senator than -- -- thank you so much for being here thank you.
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