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Harris Poll: Forty-seven percent of unemployed have given up looking

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A new Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals was released Friday. It indicates that nearly half (47 percent) of long-term unemployed Americans have given up looking for a job. Sixty percent of those still looking for a job find it harder than ever while 10 percent said it’s easier.

Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said, "This survey shows that millions of Americans are at risk of falling into the trap of prolonged unemployment, and it should give policymakers a greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs. We can take heart that in these difficult times the American spirit of confident hopefulness endures, but we can’t accept this status quo, not for our country, not for our unemployed neighbors."

The outlook is gloomy. Forty-six percent of the respondents had not had an interview in a month while 23 percent said they had not had a job interview since 2012. Most of those polled are not receiving unemployment compensation anymore with just 20 percent saying they are.

Not surprisingly to most experts, 82 percent of those polled who said their unemployment insurance had run out “looked harder” for a job. Only 18 percent claimed they would be so distraught they’d quit looking if unemployment was cut off.

Forty-eight percent indicated they didn’t look too hard with unemployment benefits, 72 percent found benefits to be a “cushion,” and 62 percent said they agree that
compensation had "allowed them to take time off for themselves.”

Fewer than half, or 44 percent, are not willing to relocate while 60 percent won’t move for any reason. All this while there is an abundance of jobs in some states.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's "Blueprint for Prosperity" has turned a $3.6 billion deficit into a $2.0 billion surplus. The idea is to put taxpayers in charge of reforms that put more money in their pockets. Unemployment in Wisconsin has dipped nearly three percentage points to a 6.1 percent unemployment rate. The best private sector job growth the state has seen since the 1990s.

Good news for Wisconsin is bad news for neighboring Illinois. Companies there are relocating to Wisconsin where reduced taxes provide a steady labor pool unhindered by fading union dominance.

All this is bad news for the Democrats in midterm elections. States with Democratic in control such as California, New York and Illinois are faring near the bottom of every job poll, the unions are being voted out state after state and the “progressive challenge” is falling on deaf ears.

If that news isn’t bad enough for Democrats, the ghost of the proposed Keystone Pipeline can be seen in the North Dakota oil boom. The state’s average personal income ranked 38th in 2006, but skyrocketed to sixth place in 2012. According to the Department of Commerce data, during those six years, North Dakota's per capita personal income grew from 14 percent below the national average to 25 percent above the average.

The most interesting stat in the survey may have been the question about who those polled blame for not having a job. Most did not blame themselves. Forty-five percent said the economy is the culprit whole 18 percent blamed the government.

Sixty-three percent of the unemployed now blame the government in some way for their job loss. A growing nightmare if you are an incumbent politician in 2014.

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