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One step forward: A jobs program provides hope for the unemployed

One of the long-standing traditions of Labor Day is that television news programs do some kind of tribute to the working man and woman. But since this is Labor Day 2010, there are a lot fewer working men and women to honor. More than 14 million Americans are out of work, and for them, Labor Day is just another Monday.

As unemployment hovers around 10 percent, the Obama administration, and politicians everywhere, are attempting to find an answer. One solution that some states are trying involves using part of a special $5 billion fund from last year’s federal stimulus package. The goal is to put the neediest Americans back to work.

Correspondent Mona Iskander traveled to Mississippi to meet some of the people who are hoping this temporary jobs program will lead to permanent employment.

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    Main Street: Findlay, Ohio
    Need to Know travels to Ohio to assess how workers are faring after the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs over the past 35 years.
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    Following the money: Tax breaks
    New CBO report echoes the findings of Need to Know's "A tale or four tax returns."
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      Certifiably employable
    Rick Karr recently visited Seattle to look at a program designed to give the unemployed the skills they need to find jobs in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries.


  • Kekebrad

    We need programs to help get people back to work and stimulate small business to hire new workers.

  • Yes we do.

    I also think it’s critical that the government step up in programs like this. Free market simply can’t function without protection.

  • Tschäff Reisberg

    There has been a group of economists who have spent a good part of their career designing and simulating a government job guarantee. It would quickly solve our long term involuntary unemployment situation.

    The trouble with steps is that if the economy hasn’t recovered in six months, people could be back on the street. If the jobs program was implemented nationally (it can be administered locally) it would act as a powerful stabilizer. People would consume more once they are employed, this will cause companies expecting sales to grow to hire, and there would be an automatic transition of workers from the job guarantee program back to the private sector.

    The genius of this video was to show that both Democrats and Depublicans can get behind it. There is an independent, Warren Mosler, who is fighting for Senitor Dodd’s seat in Connecticut who is trying hard to give our nation a job guarantee program. If you you liked STEPS, please give him your support and write your congressman/woman asking for a jobs program to be implemented.

    Tschaff Reisberg
    Counter Insurgency, Deficit Terrorist Unit

  • Curtis Martin, Cleveland, Ohio

    This is the exact message I have been sending out since the very beginning of the economic fall. I emailed the president telling him, instead of just giving away billions of dollars to these big banks and others, all they have to do is pay the workers salaries of the companies hit first by the recession until the companies built up enough money to start paying their workers again. Then they would only have to pay back the government what they used, plus interest. All the government had to do is help keep the people working and the people would take care of the rest. But when you make less then $25,000 year, you don’t know what your talking about and they don’t listen to us. Do they have a common sense degree? If not, there needs to be. And the U.S Government need to be the first in class.

  • Josh

    not true in so many ways. how do you ever get rid of the dead weight? if there were a government program to keep paying people we would still have 12,000,000 buggy whip makers on the government dole and 5,000,000 red caps still riding the amtrak rails. one of the key reasons the economy works at all is that when companies over pay or over hire they are forced to cut back eventually. if the goverment (you and I) payed them they stay for ever. the bubble would just get bigger, never deflate and would consume us all.

  • Josh

    we need business to hire the number of workers they need, and not some number that makes the politicians happy. and we dont need to borrow money we cant afford to pay people now to make things worse for ever more.

  • Ned Peck

    When does something like this happen in California?

  • mc

    There is a wide difference between fasting and hunger.
    It is easy to praise fasting with a fully belly but hunger is starvation. When somebody is thirsty, it is too late to think about digging a well. Similarly our Economic Recovery Program and/or Jobs Program should not only create hope but should also work. If it does not work, then it is hopeless.
    This is not the time to experiment if it works or not. That is what FDR did during the Great Depression time and made everybody work.
    Our community colleges, universities and other entrepreneurs should create some job oriented training or course curriculum to get their feet back on work. Mass Media, such as newspapers, magazines and television news media should help in developing the economy and welfare of the American people rather than concentrating only on their ratings. That trend should change.

  • Rachelle Pavao Goldenberg

    It has been happening in California, it’s called ECF, and unfortunately the funding will end this month, due to the lack of passage in the Senate. The program operated under different versions in the counties of California. (California’s programs operate on a county basis, rather than a state basis)

    The program was incredibly successful, and had many people wishing to participate…

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  • E148

    We had some of this in Texas but the state ran out of money early this year. And from what I saw the jobs ‘created’ in Mississippi were not very good jobs.

  • No news is… no news. A report from the State Budget Committee meeting – The Briefing Room: Indiana Senate Democrats

    [...] Mississipi’s Step Up program, on which Indiana H.I.R.E. was modeled, was recently profiled by PBS in “One step forward: A jobs program provides hope for the unemployed.” [...]