CNBC business news anchor Brian Sullivan called on the government Thursday to help people move to where jobs are being created as a way to put the chronic unemployed back to work.
Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the television newsman used his own family as an example of people who may be too financially strapped to take advantage of new jobs being created because they can't afford to move.
He recalled how his family "went bust" after his father lost his job and his unemployment benefits ran out, prompting them to move across the country.
"My dad lost his job in 1985. We went bust," Sullivan told his NBC colleagues on the program. "My dad's unemployment benefits ran out, and . . . we moved back to where he had grown up, and, literally, started over."
Sullivan detailed the difficulties his family had in finding the money to move from San Diego to rural Virginia. To make it happen, his mother was forced to cash out a pension early.
He said the problem is the same for many families today who can't sell their home because of the weak economy and don't have the money to move elsewhere.
"If you're an unemployed auto worker in Michigan, and you want to go to Tennessee, but yet you're sitting on a mortgage that's underwater and you can't sell your house . . . you're options are this," he said. "Destroy your credit by walking away from your mortgage to try to get a job in Tennessee, or stick it out in Michigan and hope the job comes to you."
He suggested the federal government "try something new," such as offering a moving grant to help people relocate to where the economy is better.
"We need to help people go to where the jobs are. There's three million open jobs in this country," he said. "There are jobs elsewhere, but you can't get there. And, we got to figure out how to help people get there."
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