Risesmart is a provider of next-generation outplacement solutions. The company leverages a cloud-based technology platform, proven methodologies and one-on-one support to help employers with their workforce strategies, and displaced employees with their career strategies. The company has raised a total of $13.85 million since its 2007 founding from NVP, Storm Ventures and angel investors.
At long last there is some encouraging news on employment, but the American economy is far from well. Long-term unemployment is at historically high levels and will be a drag on a recovery unless action is taken to reduce it. Fortunately, we have at our disposal the tool that can help solve this problem as it has so many others: technology. It is time we turned the power of technology toward addressing this longstanding problem.
Long-term unemployment is often lost in the employment figures that spring forth monthly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That agency and the news media most often focus on the official unemployment rate, new jobless claims, and the number of new jobs created. But dig deeper and there is reason for concern. The current eight percent unemployment figure does not include the 8.1 million people defined by the government as “employed part time for economic reasons” or the 2.6 million more who want a job but haven’t looked for one in a month. The U.S. government’s measure of all those impacted by unemployment (the BLS’s U-6) is actually about 15 percent of the workforce.
Still, the most worrisome element of the current economy is long-term unemployment. The Americans out of work for more than six months – some 5.4 million of them -- account for more than 40 percent of the total number of unemployed. The average duration of unemployment stands at 40 weeks, by far the highest figures seen in data that stretches back to 1948. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, for one, has voiced concern about this. He recently testified before Congress that if the situation persists, more of the long-term unemployed will lose job skills and struggle to regain them. That will have the effect of reducing the country’s supply of skilled workers.