Can't Get A Job Because You're Unemployed?

Lunchtime Live -- Can't Get A Job Because You're Unemployed?

Study after study has shown that employers are simply less likely to hire someone who's out of work. Whether it's job ads explicitly requesting "current employment" and a "stable work history," or an interviewer's raised eyebrow at a resume gap, discrimination against the unemployed has helped keep long-term joblessness at its staggering levels. It's also almost impossible to prove.

What forms does it take? How do you know it's happening to you? And what can you do about it? These are the questions we wrangled with in this week's edition of AOL Jobs' Lunchtime Live weekly video series. We were joined by Donna Ballman, employment attorney and AOL Jobs contributor, and Maurice Emsellem, the policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project, a lower-wage worker advocacy group.

"Its like when you're dating and you want someone who has a boyfriend or girlfriend. It's human nature, we want somebody who somebody else wants," explains Ballman. "If nobody wants you, then we don't want them either. It's the same with products, and it's the same with people."

But that's a tragic catch-22, at a time of historic levels of long-term unemployment. "This crisis of long-term unemployment, we never in the history of the nation, going back to the depression, had so many people who are unemployed for such long periods of time," says Emsellem. "Folks need to speak up. The voices of the unemployed, they're often not heard."

Watch the full 30-minute segment on YouTube here.

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Michael Huff

Well this certainly helps. Thanks for the bad news. I guess I can get rid of that nagging hope I'd find a job now.

February 01 2014 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Damian Downfall

Hmm. The article seems to be very correct, but also offers no solution.

You're just telling us what we already know, and offering no help in the matter. People who do not have jobs and have been jobless for quite sometime aren't searching on Google to find an article telling them their fears, they're searching for a solution to a question that people have already asked.

Other than that, good journalism skill, Claire, I enjoy good English =P

October 04 2013 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bermuda One

This article is spot on. I have a dedicated career with over 25 years experience. I have sent out countless resumes either stating my qualifications, or even taking some things off to just get a job. I am still here after quite sometime not even getting the courtesy of a decline by email.. I am finding another form of discrimination can be ageism. That is alive and well in this country too. I believe these two critical factors of not hiring the unemployed and ignoring certain age groups has led the country to a crisis. This has got to be addressed. It looks like we are in a depression and the government just does not want to scare us. Oh, I want to mention most of the jobs remaining you are not able to earn a living wage so hence another issue. Good luck to us all and may we all somehow prosper.

September 28 2013 at 8:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another blatant form of discrimination against the unemployed is the requirement to pass a credit check. Thousands of people who lost their jobs during the Great Recession had to resort to withdrawing their life savings and using their credit cards just to pay the mortgage, leaving them with ruined credit. Then potential employers hold that against them. The irony is that, even if you're a convicted felon, it is illegal to discriminate against hiring you on that basis: you get a second chance. But if you have a perfect background except for bad credit CAUSED by unemployment, you are deemed unemployable.

September 04 2013 at 3:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rhonda Taylor

We spoke up, we did media, we went to Washington DC, We crashed Washington DC phone lines.....When all of that fell on deaf ears we move to survival mode.....because figuring out whats for dinner and having a roof over your head becomes the struggle.......not sure where all you have been. But I suggest you all do some research on what the unemployed, 99ers and AMERICAN PUBLIC have been saying for years......

August 09 2013 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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