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Economists find connection between stock market and job searches

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- A new study shows unemployment numbers may have something to do with how people look for jobs. A report released by Elon University professors suggests the stock market and housing prices affect how hard the unemployed search for jobs.

"We saw that a 50 percent decrease in the S&P 500 will increase search time by 25 percent," said Mark Kurt. "The idea is that a lot of people's wealth has been eroded and so they are more likely to search for employment."

The research from Elon University professors also shows that the media plays a role in unemployment, citing that when there is coverage of layoffs at companies, it discourages job seekers because now they are aware that even more people are competing for the same, limited number of jobs.

"Not only is the potential pool of people looking for a job larger, but it sends a signal that maybe not as many jobs are opening up," said Kurt.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests millions of people are giving up on their job search or are settling for part-time jobs.

"They probably aren't aware of the resources available to them even within a small radius," said Tom Vecchione with Elon University. "There are job boards and just some experts who are dealing with this all the time."

He added while the numbers look bleak, consistency is key.

"To get a job is a job and sufficient time needs to be spent with that and often times people need more professional assistance then they think," said Vecchione.

In his speech Thursday, President Barack Obama will roll out a plan to get more people back in the workforce. The president is expected to address tax relief, infrastructure investment and assistance for longterm unemployed.

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