Pathways Back to Work Act: Getting More Americans Back to Work Through Employment, Education and TrainingJul 1, 2013
The Pathways Back to Work Act is critical and timely. Millions of Americans are out of work. Nearly two out of five unemployed workers have been jobless for six months or more and workers who have been unemployed for long periods find it increasingly difficult to secure employment. In June 2013, the alternative unemployment rate measure (which includes people who want to work but are discouraged from looking and people working part time because they can't find full-time jobs) was over 14 percent. Individuals with low education and skill levels continue to experience unemployment rates that are significantly higher than those of more educated workers. One in four African Americans between ages 18 and 24 is looking for a job, but cannot find one, as are more than one in seven Hispanic young adults. Meanwhile, 6.7 million youth are neither employed nor in school. Without targeted efforts to connect unemployed youth and adults to jobs, paid work experience, education, and training, many Americans will likely spend the better part of a decade with few opportunities to work, gain skills, or earn family sustaining wages. These trends carry long-term consequences for workers, families and for our country's long-term economic growth and competitiveness. The Pathways Back to Work Act can address the overall job shortage, the employment needs of millions of Americans, and the needs of business.