90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Long-Term Unemployed

Long-term unemployment is at its highest since the Great Depression. How do people manage? Get by? Find a job? We ask.

In this photo taken Sept. 29, 2010, Sheila Portugal waits in line to meet with a recruiter while attending a job fair in Livonia, Mich. (AP)

Nearly 25 million Americans are now unemployed or under-employed and looking for jobs. Among the officially “unemployed,” 40 percent have been out of a job for six months or longer — and many much longer. These are the “long-term unemployed.” 

American long-term unemployment is now at levels not seen since the Great Depression. But the numbers are bloodless. The reality is brutally hard, on finances, on families, on self-confidence, and on resumes. 

Some fear they may never work again. What does that mean? We talk with the long-term unemployed.

-Tom Ashbrook

**If you are interested in getting in touch regarding this show or the guests featured in it, please email us at onpoint@wbur.org.

Guests:

John Ydstie, NPR correspondent and host who has reported on the U.S. economy for the past two decades. He played a big part in the recent NPR series: “The Skills Gap: Holding Back the Labor Market.”

Sheila Egan, pharmaceutical salesperson who has been out of work for more than a year. She’s a 47-year-old single mother who lives in Ohio. She was featured in the NPR series.

Michael Hall, a 50-year-old California systems engineer who worked with high-tech data and phone equipment. He has been out of work for two years now. You can see the NPR story featuring him here.

Matt Youngquist, employment counselor and coach who runs Career Horizons, in Bellevue, WA. He was featured in the NPR series. He’s coached more than 5,000 job seekers at all levels, from entry-level employees to  executives. See the NPR story that includes him.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

 
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment