The German publication Bild focuses on Arno Duebel, who at 36 [!] years and running is Germany's longest unemployed person. This piece describes a typical day and this piece his encounter with active labor market policy.
The actual mystery, though, is not the existence of someone like Arno, but rather, given the relative generosity of many European welfare states, their relative scarcity. The fact of the matter is that most people actually like to work, even at jobs that many academics might (implicitly and with a lot of jargon) sneer at. Understanding this behavior at a deeper level would do much to improve both labor economics and labor market policy.
As an aside to readers who may not be familiar with it, Bild is a sort of strange mix of People, the National Enquirer and Sports Illustrated. Reading it in a public place sends a strong social signal.
Hat tip: Lars Skipper
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