• New White Paper from Express: Barriers Between People and Jobs

    OKLAHOMA CITY - January 24, 2018




    • "Battle of the Barriers" Explores 7 Key Obstacles to Work

    • Even with Low Unemployment, Millions Struggle to Find Work


    Express Employment Professionals released a new white paper today exploring seven key barriers getting in the way of workers who want jobs.

    America has plenty of job openings. Yet there are 6.6 million unemployed Americans and 5.1 million more who say they want a job but are not actively looking anymore. With the official unemployment rate reaching new lows, headlines often hide the struggles of millions of families who still feel like they're down and out because they cannot secure a good job. In so many of these circumstances, something is standing in their way.

    The new white paper, entitled "Battle of the Barriers," explores seven of these common barriers:

    1. Transportation
    2. Child care
    3. Elder care
    4. Job training
    5. Drug use and drug testing
    6. Criminal record
    7. Communications issues

    Drawing on the real-world experiences of Express office owners and original surveys, the paper discusses why these barriers persist, even in a time of high employment, and who is most likely to be affected.

    Deb Gray, an Express owner in the Pittsburgh area, estimates that when an applicant turns down a job, about half the time, it is due to transportation issues.

    Ronnie Morris, an Express owner in western Tennessee, reports he's beginning to see a trend in men "not taking jobs or losing jobs due to child care issues," which in the past, had usually been an issue mainly for women.

    Reid Bates, an owner of multiple offices in Washington State, expects elder care demands to continue increasing as baby boomers retire. 

    Though some barriers are almost insurmountable, there are solutions. The paper explores areas where local, state and federal governments can take action, how companies and communities are taking it upon themselves to make a difference and the importance of personal responsibility.

    "In a growing economy, it can be easy to forget about those who are unemployed. People can be too quick to assume that with jobs available, anyone who doesn't have a job doesn't want one," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. "Like everyone, they want to work, but there are barriers that stand between them and a regular paycheck."

    If you would like to arrange an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.


    About Robert A. Funk

    Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit