On tapping the talents of the unemployed and in transition

Lately, I have been thinking about the unemployed and underemployed as a pool of talent. I’d argue they are one of the most undertapped economic segments.  Of the global working population, 6.3% is unemployed.  In the US, the long-term unemployed are better educated, older, and more likely to be professional workers than the mean unemployed population.  These workers are particularly held back by age discrimination and high wage expectation.

I am reasonably familiar with this market because a key component of the Circle of Experts‘ strategy is to tap the knowledge of people in transition.  Working with this community excites me because the unemployed are people facing significant challenges.  While they are wrestling with finding a job, we are glad to pay them a competitive rate. 

Particularly now as layoffs increase, there are significant entrepreneurial opportunities in creatively tapping the time and talents of the unemployed and underemployed.  The expert
network business
, the fastest growing sector of the investment research industry, is a prime example.  Other successful startups working in this market (broadly defined): Accolo, TheLadders, Notch Partners, and ProfessionaLink. Who else would you add to the list?