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"When Bret Lane was laid off from his telecommunications sales job after 16 years, he wasn’t worried. He’d never been unemployed for more than a few days since he started working as a teenager. But months passed, and he couldn’t find a job. One day, he heard the Purina plant in his Turlock, Calif., neighborhood was hiring janitors for $14 an hour. When he arrived early at 4 a.m., he counted more than 400 people lined up to interview.
“That’s when I realized things had gotten serious,” said Lane, 53, who called being out of work “pure hell.”
My latest for NBC News, on tackling the problem of the longterm unemployed, a group of people who are blatantly ignored by Washington.