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There was a study completed within the last 2 years about the unemployed.  There is a deficit of 10.2 million jobs since 2007.  Several employer related factors contribute to the inability of unemployed workers to find jobs.  One reason is that some employers refuse to hire unemployed people.  In fact, the study produced a figure of 82% of employers who discriminate against the unemployed.  A second factor is background checks.  http://www.nelp.org/page/-/UI/2011/Owens_Testimony_Barriers_Unemplo...  It is reported that background checks are only 90% accurate in their findings.  http://www.nelp.org/index.php/content/content_issues/category/crimi...  Potentially, millions of Americans are losing jobs due to inaccurate background checks.  Credit checks rule out a vast number of people as well.

Instead of looking for ways to get people hired, maybe we need to look at hiring practices of American businesses and decide whether they are fair.  We raise flags every time there is discrimination based on race or age, but where are the flags for companies that won't hire unemployed workers or those with bad credit checks.  The NELP is currently fighting this type of discrimination, but there obviously needs to be more done.  It is evident in the 82% of employers that won't hire the unemployed and the unwillingness to hire people with a bad credit history or minor infractions on their background checks.

I don't believe in Federal regulations to correct this injustice or support some of the Federal programs to raise minimum wage and provide training, but I would encourage those job seekers who are in these classes to make their voice heard.  Write your congressman.  We are not going to solve the high unemployment rates by focusing only on potential hires. 

 

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Comment by Mandy Muffin on February 12, 2013 at 3:58am

An additional factor:

When the labor market is scarce, employers are screening applications and seeking applicants to hire; when labor is abundant, employers are screening qualified applicants and finding reasons to reject them.  This is just one more reason. 

Comment by Mandy Muffin on February 12, 2013 at 3:30am

As a former employment manager, my job was to fill job openings, not assure that everybody applying for a job got treated fairly or equally. In the private market place, there are no barriers to discrimination except those enacted by law such as to women, minorities, the handicap and and older workers. Congress has considered a national law to prohibit such practices as discriminating against the unemployed but has not passed such legislation. Some states or municipalities have. Here is one such law in Washington DC. http://www.mcguirewoods.com/Client-Resources/Alerts/2012/5/Washingt... In any event, even protected applicants have a long, uphill legal battle to file complaints and get justice.

I would compare the current hiring process as a orange grove owner who only needs two bushels of oranges and has ten bushels growing on the trees. He is going to pick the low hanging fruit and let the rest go to rot. In our labor market, there are few jobs in the private sector and a lot of candidates. Why bother with any other resumes but those off the top of the pile? This is the dilemma for the unemployed. Many must take any kind of work, including menial labor or find a way to work for themselves. Other go where there is a shortage in the labor supply or learn a skill where the same is true. And finally, some have solved their problem by getting a job with the government. I had a brother-in-law who did that.

Unfortunately, this is the reality of having a free market for labor. When I visited China a few years back, where the state assigned work to everybody, our tour guide was mining engineer, another was concert pianist. In an ideal world a big computer would find a job for everybody. But many wouldn't take the job that they were offered.

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