In early November, opened up its Facebook page to individuals who wanted to ask questions about jobs in America. The most popular questions were presented to Austan Goolsbee, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), so that he could answer them in recorded videos. The YouTube page now has all of Goolsbee’s answers online, including one about long-term unemployment.

Janet asked about the millions of Americans who are considered to be 99ers — those who have exhausted all 99 weeks of unemployment benefits — and what they'll need to do to get back to work. Many of these individuals are middle-class and middle-aged and are being “kicked farther under the bus” with today’s unemployment crisis.

Goolsbee admits that this is an “absolutely critical issue” and says, “President Obama has been the leader for calling for extended unemployment benefits because we’re in this situation.”

This morning’s unemployment report was bleak at 9.8 percent. More than 15 million Americans are out of work and as of Nov. 30, extended unemployment benefits have expired. There is no current legislation in place to extend these benefits, and the lame duck Congress isn’t in a position to quickly pass new legislation before the end of the year, especially with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts receiving so much attention. Unfortunately there is no quick and easy fix for the long-term unemployment issue.

Other job topics covered by Goolsbee include youth unemployment, outsourcing and automation, small businesses and age discrimination.

Photo: Lincolnian/Flickr

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Austan Goolsbee, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, answers several questions about jobs in America.