Pundits are saying President Obama’s State of the Union focused on small-bore ideas. But for older Americans looking for help from Washington to find work or to save for retirement, I’d say it was more like small beer.
Below are the key proposals from the speech plus views about them from experts I’ve consulted and me:
The Long-Term Unemployed
Roughly 3.9 million Americans have been out of work for more than six months — the long-term unemployed. They make up about 38% of all unemployed people in the U.S. (about the same as in 2012) and half of the long-term unemployed are over 50. According to AARP, it takes unemployed people over 50 about a year to find a new job, which is almost twice as long as people under 50.
Obama’s key proposals:
He’s getting CEOs at major corporations such as AT&T T -1.39%, Procter & Gamble PG -1.98% and Xerox XRX -1.93% to sign a pledge saying they won’t refuse to hire people just because they’re unemployed.President Obama says the pledge would “give more unemployed workers a fair shot” at a new job. That’s beause some firms continue to discriminate against out-of-work job applicants. A recent Northeastern University study found that employers would rather…