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Max Parsley points to a section of roof during a solar panel installation course at City College of San Francisco. - 

When unemployment was less than 5 percent in the U.S. -- remember those days? -- the government was spending 18 percent on job re-training. What gives? The New York Times' Motoko Rich says that the current fiscal constraints prevent more funding to jobs programs, but the budgets of those programs were scaled down long before the recession started. The training programs did get a boost from stimulus funds, but those have long run dry.

Betsy Stevenson, former chief economist at the Labor Department, says that there is a lot of money spent on an unemployment, but not on re-employment. The Department of Labor has launched a study to examine the effectiveness of re-training programs.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal