Monday, June 6, 2011

Discrimination Against Unemployed? It's a Fact

The attached Article from HuffPost, document the significant uptick in jobs being posted online, is stunning, and makes clear to me that companies are actively avoiding hiring unemployed workers for vacant job openings.  We have over the past months read about how more and more job openings are being posted online, while at the same time reading that 1) unemployment rates at best remain constant; and, 2) fewer and fewer jobs are actually being filled each month.

What is the only conclusion one can reach?  Companies are looking to hire only people who are currently employed.  Why?  The reason, I hypothesize, is that those who have remained employed throughout the recession are viewed as "the cream of the crop."  The chronically unemployed? They are viewed by some as lazy, malcontented and incapable. And worse.

As someone who represents unemployed people each and every day, I can say that is not always true.  Many good people are out of work due to layoff or reduction in force.  Others were the victims of poor managers, who lack the skills to lead, and the emotional maturity to work well with others.

Other factors working against the unemployed?  Many companies are now refusing to hire anyone who has filed for bankruptcy, and are similarly opposed to hiring people with bad credit.  The most likely victims of such financial calamities?  The unemployed.

What can be done?  Not long ago, posted an article of mine wherein I posited that making discrimination against the unemployed illegal is unworkable, and I still feel that way.  However, I believe it is time that our leaders in Congress consider something akin to Affirmative Action where the unemployed "workforce" is concerned.  Simply stated, companies should be required to hire a X number of unemployed workers for every Y number of new hires they make.

The numbers are staggering.  The published unemployment rate is 9%.  Nearly 14 Million Americans are unemployed.  Of those, more than 6 Million (45%) have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks (which, according to CBS News, is a higher percentage than at any time since the Great Depression). Nearly 5 Million have been out of work for more than 52 weeks.  Nearly 2 Million Americans have been out of work for more than 99 weeks. 

How can our Country grow with these staggering numbers?  I believe an Affirmative Action program for unemployed workers is the only solution to the current trend of refusing to hire unemployed workers, which appears to be gathering steam.  If companies are really so desperate for new help, there are lots of qualified workers anxiously sitting on the sidelines and ready to pitch in today.

NOTE:  On August 17, 2011, TLNT published an interesting article extolling the virtues of hiring currently unemployed candidates.  In essence, it concludes that new hires who were previously unemployed will have a heightened degree of gratitude, and thus loyalty, to any employer that provides them with an opportunity to be productive again. I agree,


Anonymous said...

"it is time that our leaders in Congress consider something akin to affirmative action where the unemployed "workforce" is concerned. Simply stated, companies should be required to hire a X number of unemployed workers for every Y number of new hires they make."

Excellent point and brilliant idea! I was a temp for 20+ years. It was my passion that helped me to develop my interpersonal relation skills, computer/software skill, and administrative skills. It was unthinkable for me to ever turned an assignment down, and I was available 24/7 around the clock. My projects were long-term (6 mos. - 2 years), and I loved what I did. I was rarely w/o an assignment and my transition time between each was never more than 2-3 weeks. In the 1990's through 2008, agencies were thriving. I had little competition because of my extensive background with various software applications; my flexibility; desire to learn, and go the extra mile. Every company needed some kind of administrative help. Times have definitely changed since 2008, and not for the better! It has now been 2 TWO whole years since I have been searching. I have had very few responses to the resumes I have sent out. For one who has thrived as a temporary/contractor ...that is not a good sign at all. I am back in school for my BA Psychology, but I am still looking for work.

I refuse to lose hope, but completely agree with your affirmative action concept. Thank you!

Anonymously Unemployed

Employment Lawyers said...

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