Obama to top 300 companies: Start hiring the long-term unemployed

By Arturo Garcia
Thursday, January 30, 2014 17:38 EDT
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President Barack Obama 013014 [CNN]
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President Barack Obama announced that he will convene a meeting of top executives from some of the country’s top companies to agree upon a set of hiring principles he says will benefit the long-term unemployed.

“What we have done is to gather together 300 companies, just to start with, including, some of the top 50 companies in the country, companies like Walmart, and Apple, Ford and others, to say, ‘Let’s establish best practices,’” Obama told CNN host Jake Tapper in an interview excerpt aired on Thursday. “Do not screen people out of the hiring process just because they’ve been out of work for a long time.”

The interview is scheduled to air on Friday.

Obama did not identify any of the other companies reportedly involved in the meeting, which he said would take place on Friday. He also did not identify any specific “best practices” that would ensure people without a job for more than six months at a time have a better chance with those employers.

CNN reported that Obama’s 2011 proposal barring companies with more than 15 employees from discriminating based on the length of a person’s unemployment stalled in both houses of Congress.

“Because they’ve been unemployed so long, folks are looking at that gap in the resume and they’re weeding them out before these folks even get a chance for an interview,” Obama told Tapper.

Bloomberg News noted that despite the U.S. unemployment rate lowering to 6.7 percent, more than 4 million people reported being out of a job for more than six months, tripling the long-term unemployment rate before the onset of the 2008 recession.

Watch Tapper’s interview with Obama, as aired on Thursday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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