Three years into the Great Recession, unemployment continues to hover over 9%. 14 million Americans are out of work; nearly 4 million are still drawing unemployment benefits that cost cash-strapped states billions of dollars. Although the worst appears to be over, the economic recovery has stalled as the nation continues to grapple with the reality of a workforce that is plentiful but jobs that are not. In an effort to provide support for the growing number of long-term unemployed, the federal government has even extended unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. Trying to promote job creation, the federal government has spent well over $800 billion in direct fiscal stimulus and the Federal Reserve has engaged in two rounds of unconventional monetary policy maneuvers in quantitative easing. Not for a lack of effort, these policies seem to have reached the extent of their effectiveness.
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