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A job seeker looks over event materials as she waits to enter the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitcomb on March 27, 2012 in San Francisco, California. As the national unemployment rate stands at 8.3 percent, job seekers turned out to meet with recruiters at the San Francisco Hirevent job fair where hundreds of jobs were available.
The good news: the U.S. unemployment rate in April fell to its lowest number in three years! The bad news: the drop may just be due to more people losing hope of ever finding a job and dropping out of the search.
Since January, 342,000 people have left the labor force, meaning the Bureau of Labor Statistics has stopped counting them, even if they didn’t end up finding a job. Currently, more than 5 million people have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.
The average length of unemployment is more than 39 weeks. What advice is there for the chronically unemployed? If you’ve been looking for a job, what has your experience been?
Christine Owens, executive director, National Employment Law Project, a national advocacy organization for employment rights
Andrea Kay, career consultant, syndicated columnist; author, "Work's a Bitch and Then You Make it Work" and “Life’s a Bitch Then You Change Careers” (Stewart, Tabori and Chang)