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President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Anne Zimmerman, President, Zimmerman & Co., CPAs, Inc. & Zimcom Internet Solutions, right, speaks during a photo opportunity as he meets with a group of business leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in Washington., to discuss practices for hiring the long-term unemployed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama on unemployment

Confronting an economic recovery slowed by persistent joblessness, President Barack Obama on Friday won commitments from nearly 300 companies to reach out to the nearly 4 million Americans who have been jobless for half a year or more.

"It's a cruel catch-22," Obama said at a White House event with CEOs, job training groups and and advocates for the unemployed. "The longer you're unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem."

Obama called that "an illusion" because, he said, such workers are often better qualified and better educated than workers who just recently lost their jobs. (AP)

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