February of 2012, a week before Valentine’s Day to be exact, I got laid off. This was a month after my older brother lost his job at a company that got bought out (therefore, everyone at the corporate office lost their job).
In August of 2012, only 6 months unemployed (the longest I’ve ever been out of work, to be honest), I found a job. It’s a job I’ve struggled with, but it was a job.
And according to an article I found on the Daily Beast, that’s all that matters these days to future employers. The Daily Beast goes onto explain that those who are unemployed for the long term don’t find their way back to work as easy as those who find a job a lot quicker.
This left me to wonder – is there a bias against the long term unemployed?
My brother has not found a job yet and it has now been over a year. I’m not sure what to say and while my blog has talked a lot about job searching, working through office politics, and the ups and downs of job searching and networking – my brother’s unemployment is a subject I’ve avoided talking about. Mostly because I’m worried – and a little scared – for him. Weeks have gone by without calls. Employers who have interviewed him – and even if the interview has gone well – never call him back.
Some time last year I was on Google Plus, and I found someone’s post that had been forwarded along to hundreds. She had requested that her profile be passed along to everyone that we knew. She said she would move anywhere and do anything as long as she could have a job. She had been unemployed over a year as well.
NYC Council has also just this past month banned the bias against the unemployed that was happening in their city.
Business Week is also talking about the subject. Those who have been out longer than 6 months are not getting responses to their resume. And apparently, it isn’t even illegal to look at employment status when considering a resume.
My brother is not the only one facing this bias. Neither is this woman I saw online.
Something is wrong with our society that employers don’t want to hire someone just because they are out of work.
Here is one idea that I have – money talks, right? So, how about giving a tax benefit or something to employers who hire the unemployed. (Apparently, I googled this idea and the American Jobs Act matched my requested. Yet, for some reason it got shot down).
But I’m open to ideas. I know a lot of us are. But the status quo is not acceptable.
At least, it shouldn’t be.
What do you think? Is there a bias against the unemployed? Do you have first hand experience with this bias?