Unemployed: Don’t Even Apply

I know. Our elected leaders Inside the Beltway remain engaged in their policy making circle jerk while the nation’s economy races toward a cliff and a deep dive to financial ruin. Or not.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, people are still struggling to find a job. And among those who are having the most difficult time are the long-term unemployed. Why? More and more employers are now only willing to consider hiring someone who already has a job or who has just recently lost one. Snort.

This isn’t a new situation, but here’s an interesting update and perspective in the NYT, “The Help-Wanted Sign Comes With a Frustrating Asterisk“:

The unemployed need not apply.

That is the message being broadcast by many of the nation’s employers, making it even more difficult for 14 million jobless Americans to get back to work.

A recent review of job vacancy postings on popular sites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder and Craigslist revealed hundreds that said employers would consider (or at least “strongly prefer”) only people currently employed or just recently laid off.

Unemployed workers have long suspected that the gaping holes on their résumés left them less attractive to employers. But with the country in the worst jobs crisis since the Great Depression, many had hoped employers would be more forgiving.

“I feel like I am being shunned by our entire society,” said Kelly Wiedemer, 45, an information technology operations analyst who said a recruiter had told her that despite her skill set she would be a “hard sell” because she had been out of work for more than six months.

Legal experts say that the practice probably does not violate discrimination laws because unemployment is not a protected status, like age or race. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently held a hearing, though, on whether discriminating against the jobless might be illegal because it disproportionately hurts older people and blacks.

The practice is common enough that New Jersey recently passed a law outlawing job ads that bar unemployed workers from applying. New York and Michigan are considering the idea, and similar legislation has been introduced in Congress. The National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit organization that studies the labor market and helps the unemployed apply for benefits, has been reviewing the issue, and last week issued a report that has nudged more politicians to condemn these ads.

Given that the average duration of unemployment today is nine months — a record high — limiting a search to the “recently employed,” much less the currently employed, disqualifies millions.

And for an even more comprehensive look at this issue, here’s a NYT feature, “The Hiring Bias Against the Unemployed.”

Hey. Maybe the unemployed in this country can move to China where they would have a fighting chance of getting hired by GE. Note: The Prez picked GE CEO Jeffrey Imment to help create jobs in the USA. Oops. I digress.

Oh well. I can think of a number of elected officials in DC who deserve to be among the long-term unemployed following the 2012 elections.

Just sayin’.

And one last brain dropping for the day. I saw on Fox News this morning while chasing the treadmill that the House Republicans during one of their meetings yesterday showed a scene from the Ben Affleck movie The Town to serve as motivation for staying the course. Or not.

Good grief. They can’t even get this right. Here’s the greatest motivational speech in a movie ever. John Boehner, you paying attention?


2 responses to “Unemployed: Don’t Even Apply

  1. burghthoughts

    i have a hard time wrapping my head around this one…the government extends unemployment benefits to two years and then benevolently decide not to sue employers who won’t hire people who have been out of work for two years. They have apparently not seen all the studies that suggest that extending unemploymnet benefits only extends the amount of people unemployed.
    330 million people in this country and the current 535 clowns in congress and our clown-in-chief are the best we can do????

    • One of the reasons this story has surfaced again is that the extended unemployment benefits are set to expire. The editorial staff of NYT would, I expect, like them to extend forever. I report You decide.

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