January 24, 2020
Report 408, Memo 1160 | January 2020
Overcoming Barriers for the Underemployed
Although much of Michigan’s workforce development efforts have been focused on training people for high-skilled jobs, the vast majority of job openings has been and will continue to be concentrated in low- and middle-skilled jobs. The working poor (such as discouraged workers, those marginally attached to the workforce, or those working part-time) and those that have dropped out of the workforce are likely candidates to fill many of the job openings, but they confront several barriers. State workforce development programs generally do not assist these populations. Instead, they focus on the unemployed and those in poverty, as dictated by restrictions on federal funding, leaving those most prepared to contribute to the economy to fend for themselves.