Obama appeals to CEOs to hire long-term jobless

BY Alexis Cox  January 31, 2014 at 6:29 PM EST
Photo by Flickr user slightly everything

Photo by Flickr user slightly everything

President Barack Obama appealed to the nation’s chief executives to hire job applicants who’ve been unemployed long-term. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates nearly 4 million Americans have been without work for 27 weeks or more. On Friday, the president hosted top leaders from eBay, Boeing, Morgan Stanley and a number of other major companies at the White House. He urged them to reach out to job seekers who have been out of work for an extended period of time.

“Folks who have been unemployed the longest often have the toughest time getting back to work. It’s a cruel catch-22,” President Obama said. “The longer you’re unemployed, the more unemployable you may seen. Now this is an illusion, but it’s one that unfortunately we know statistically is happening out there.”

Nearly 300 companies, such as Apple, McDonald’s and Walmart, have now signed onto the president’s initiative, pledging to focus more on the long-term unemployed.

The president also signed a presidential memo ensuring the federal government won’t discriminate against those workers in its own hiring.

President Obama also reiterated his call for Congress to extend long-term jobless benefits which expired last December.