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Categorized | Business, Hartford

Gov Touts Plans for Long-term Unemployed

HARTFORD — The unemployment rate in Connecticut is 7.4 percent, down from 7.65 in November 2013, according to state’s monthly unemployment report.

But recognizing that there’s “still more work to be done,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday announced proposals that include a three-prong approach to address unemployment, while eliminating certain barriers that prevents qualified long-term unemployed residents from being discriminated against for jobs. These proposals are expected to be in the Governor’s legislative package for the 2014 General Assembly session, which begins Feb. 5

That’s because research shows that some employers and staffing agencies use software programs to screen applicants based solely on whether job candidates are currently unemployed.

This discriminating practice could disproportionately impact people with disabilities, older workers, women, and racial minorities. And as a result, the unemployed have less of a change finding work than someone who is employed, even though they may be more qualified, officials said.

“We are making steady progress at growing our economy in a way that will create good paying jobs with good benefits for middle class families.  While a decrease in the unemployment rate and the addition of thousands of private sector jobs over the last three years is clearly a step in the right direction, we still have more work to do,” Malloy said.  “Often, the longer someone is unemployed, the harder it gets to find employment, even when that person may have qualified skills to fill a certain position.”

The three initiatives proposed by Malloy are an expansion of the state’s small business Step Up program, which allows employers to hire unemployed residents in eligible towns, a proposal that prohibits employers from disqualifying qualified long-term unemployed candidates and plans to develop a state-wide program to assist the long-term unemployed.

These proposals are expected to be in the Governor’s legislative package for the 2014 General Assembly session, which begins Feb. 5.

“The initiatives proposed by Governor Malloy will be of tremendous benefit to the unemployed individuals and will also strengthen our state’s economy,” said State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer.  “People want to work and earn a paycheck, and by continuing the Step Up program and creating new opportunities for the long-term unemployed, Connecticut is on the right track toward a strong economic recovery.”


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