Helping the long-term unemployed

Regarding your April 30 article "For unemployed, statistics tell only part of story": There is a new trend (the acceleration of job outsourcing overseas) that is greatly exacerbating the unemployment problem. This is a real and significant structural shift in our economy. Even some conservative economists are rethinking their positions on this.
Bill Raynor
Delhi, N.Y.
State University of New York at Delhi

I am amazed that we are looking at President Bush to blame for the job market. Many of our jobs in the technical areas have not gone away. They have simply gone overseas. Maybe it's time to take a good look at corporate America: executives who make outrageous salaries and bonuses while cutting costs to attain a profitable bottom line; investors who expect an outrageous return on their investments; corrupt businessmen who lie for their commission. The cost has been American jobs. Where is their accountability?
Colleen Gonnerman

In such a poor job market, it is difficult to understand why corporations are employing some people to perform 12-hour shifts or six- to seven-day schedules. Though it may cost a corporation more money to employ two people to cover the same hours as one currently does, could it not possibly be more profitable in terms of quality output? It would make for employees who are able to perform better, are more rested, are better able to care for their families, and are better able to give themselves to their jobs.
Karen Hillman
Columbus, Ohio

Your article omits a few key points. First, even if you are willing to accept any position, an employer will usually be reluctant to hire someone like me, for example, with a master's degree and mix of corporate, managerial, and professional experience, for a job at someplace like Macy's. Second, if you are used to living at a certain income level, lowering your salary to minimum wage will still render you unable to pay your typical living expenses. Third, though I do agree that employers are looking for a "perfect" candidate, I believe the bigger problem is a networking and patronage system that places unqualified employees in jobs.
George Manos
Natick, Mass.

It is appalling that so-called experts do not want to offer extended benefits to those who are out of work in this economic environment. Most of us are concerned about losing all we have worked for all of our lives: our homes, life savings, and medical benefits. For experts to say we are holding back or not taking jobs is utterly absurd and quite arrogant. Of course, if the shoe were on their foot, I'm sure they would think differently.
Ron Overko
Woburn, Mass.

In reading your article, I was appalled to think that anyone would say unemployment compensation would slow a person down from looking for a job. I don't know what anybody else is receiving, but I only receive $210 a week. I am a single mother, and $210 a week does not cover my bills. I must find a job or be out of a home and, possibly, a car.
Dorothy Jackson
Birmingham, Ala.

The condition of the economy is because of the average American's attitude of "As long as I got mine, I couldn't care less about the others." I have been trying to convince people that to buy "Made in the USA" is not jingoistic; it is about preserving jobs. If I purchase products made in the US, I help keep someone else working, and they in turn keep others working.
Robert Hoffman
Rialto, Calif.

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