Economists have been parsing through Janet Yellen’s old speeches to figure out what the Fed Chair nominee might push in terms of monetary policy.
So in today’s jobs report, we were looking at the long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), something that Yellen has said she keeps a keen eye on.
The number of long-term unemployed dropped in September according to the BLS household survey, from 4.29 million to 4.15 million.
The number has been more or less steadily falling for about a year.
Which is likely important to Yellen. Here she is speaking to the AFL-CIO in February:
Individuals out of work for an extended period can become less employable as they lose the specific skills acquired in their previous jobs and also lose the habits needed to hold down any job. Those out of work for a long time also tend to lose touch with former co-workers in their previous industry or occupation–contacts that can often help an unemployed worker find a job. Long-term unemployment can make any worker progressively less employable, even after the economy strengthens.
Essentially, people without a job for a long time tend to “forget” how to work — both in terms of ethic and the networking skills necessary to find employment.