Reports from the Economic Front

a blog by Marty Hart-Landsberg

Fighting Unemployment The American Way

You have to admire the innovative way some business leaders face up to the country’s unemployment problems–those in central Florida for example.  

The Wall Street Journal reports that Workforce Central Florida, a “labor development agency” that receives federal money and is run by more than 40 central Florida business leaders, is giving out “satiny” superhero capes to boost the moral of the unemployed and encourage them to use the agency’s services.  Yes, that’s right, superhero capes to encourage the unemployed to fight and defeat Dr. Evil Unemployment (pictured below).   

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However, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the idea isnt going over so well , especially with the superheros:

State labor officials asked their inspector general Monday to investigate why a Central Florida agency wants to spend public money to furnish the unemployed with capes.

Dubbed the “Cape-A-Bility Challenge,” a $73,000 public-relations campaign by Workforce Central Florida features a cartoon character named “Dr. Evil Unemployment” and includes handing out about 6,000 red superhero capes to jobless Central Floridians.

The campaign, revealed Saturday in a report in the Orlando Sentinel, was met with derision by many unemployed who questioned spending more than $14,200 on capes and $2,300 on foam cutouts of “Dr. Evil Unemployment.” They said the campaign’s tone risked minimizing the severity of the region’s labor problems. . . .

Workforce is a federally funded labor development agency that last year received almost $24 million in public money. It is a private, nonprofit organization governed by more than 40 Central Florida business leaders.

Here is a link to a picture gallery on the agency’s website of unemployed fighting mean old Dr. Evil Unemployment.  One of the superheros (capeless) is pictured below. 

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Keep your eye on that Florida unemployment rate–we have the makings of a real national strategy. 

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