Long road back to work getting longer for many

Scott Morgan | rrstar.com

The long road to landing a job isn’t getting any shorter for the nation’s 12.8 million job seekers, and the end of their journey is becoming increasingly uncertain even as the economy continues to rebound. Read more.

Recipe for job fair success: Skills, follow-through, luck staffing firms

Scott Morgan | rrstar.com

After six hours behind a table at a recent job fair, Michael King and Katy Chadwick started sifting through the piles of resumes they’d collected.

It had been a long day, and one of mixed productivity. Although traffic had been fairly brisk at Workplace Staffing’s table, quality applicants were far outweighed by people without the right kind of experience, people who’d dropped a resume on the table with barely a word to spare, people who’d shown up in sweatpants. Read more.

Video: beware job fair blunders.

Reporter Sean F. Driscoll takes exams familiar to the unemployed

For many newly unemployed workers, it’s been decades since they sat at a desk, freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil in hand, and stared down the barrel of a standardized test.

But if they want to further their education or get training, odds are they’ll have to make it through that barrier before they can get down to learning and finding work. Read more.

Illinois can’t get back overpaid aid or let it go

Amy J. Correnti | rrstar.com

It is not Sharon Abels’ fault that she got $9,000 in unemployment checks she wasn’t supposed to receive.

No one seems to dispute this. Not Abels, 65, who was thrilled to hear from the Illinois Department of Employment Security in 2008 that she was eligible for an extension of her benefits and had no reason to question the notice.

Nor does the state employment agency, which has ruled Abels owes the money but hasn’t sued her to recoup the $9,000 or alleged any fraud took place.

Only one problem: The state lacks the authority to forgive Abels’ debt. It’s bound by law to try to collect the money. Read more.