Obama calls the plight of such workers a, quote, "cruel Catch-22."
He says: "The longer you are unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem."
But he says such workers are often better qualified and better educated than workers who just recently lost their jobs.
Obama spoke Friday at an event in the White House with CEOs, previously unemployed workers and worker advocates.
He also signed a presidential memo directing the federal government not to discriminate against long-term unemployed workers in its own hiring practices.