The longer people stay out of work, the more trouble they have finding new work.
That is a fact of life that much of Europe, with its underclass of permanently idle workers, knows all too well. But it is a lesson that the United States seems to be just learning.
This country has some of the highest levels of long-term unemployment ”” out of work longer than six months ”” it has ever recorded. Meanwhile, job growth has been, and looks to remain, disappointingly slow, indicating that those out of work for a while are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Even if the government report on Friday shows the expected improvement in hiring by business, it will not be enough to make a real dent in those totals.