Why Employers Avoid Hiring the Long-Term Unemployed

by 1389 on March 17, 2011

in "The Great Recession", 1389 (blog admin), Barack Hussein Obama, evil, IT profession, outsourcing, unemployment

Why It’s Bad Business to Hire the Long-Term Unemployed

The Obama administration has overseen the utterly preventable destruction of human capital that is arguably unprecedented in human history — and it’s their fault.

March 15, 2011 – by Tom Blumer

Those greedy employers are up to their nefarious tricks again. They’re even being overt about it.

If you’re unemployed, many of them won’t hire you. They won’t even talk to you. They don’t want you to waste your time, or theirs, filling out a job application, or submitting your resume. How absolutely awful of them.

Wrong. The “unemployed need not apply” phenomenon is an all too predictable and awful result of over two years of horribly misguided economic policy.

First, let’s acknowledge that employers are mostly acting rationally.

Especially in this economy, perhaps until recently — and that’s a big maybe — the main focus of many, if not most businesses, has been to figure out how to stay in business. In an environment where a serious hiring mistake may mean the difference between keeping the doors open or closing them, employers looking for help cannot afford to take unwarranted risks. Before they go into the hiring market, they ask themselves if the old reliables in their current crew can handle the increased workload caused by staff departures. They may also consider whether some or all of the tasks involved can be outsourced, automated, or even eliminated.

If they reluctantly conclude that they must hire someone new, company managers will go through their own internal networks of relatives, friends, and acquaintances to see if they can find someone — employed or unemployed, but largely prescreened — who is up to doing the work. They may also look at the possibility of proactively recruiting people who have impressed them in their business interactions while currently working at customers, suppliers, or competitors.

When the avenues just described come up empty, employers will let the general job market know that they are looking. It is there where the bias in favor of people who are currently employed comes out, and for several valid reasons.

If a person is already working somewhere else, they’re demonstrating that on a daily basis, not in the recent or sometimes distant past, their work habits and output are more than likely satisfactory to someone else. There’s at least a decent chance that this person has kept his or her skills sharp, and has kept up with technological and market developments in the industry. The effort involved in training such a person in their new job will often be fairly minimal. There will also be a lower likelihood that the person will flunk a background check, credit check, or their drug test.

With the unemployed, especially the long-term unemployed, the situation completely flips. Work habits and attitudes, even if once great, become suspect. Skills may have eroded. On the job training efforts are more likely to be substantial, take longer to stick, and are more likely to fail. The chances that the new person will steal because of financial hardship, has gotten into legal trouble while unemployed, or has fallen into substance abuse are all greater.

Employers who are avoiding the unemployed are merely saying, “We only have so much time and energy to put into a job search, and we can’t afford to make a business mistake. So we’re going to avoid considering the unemployed to reduce the chances of making such a mistake.”

Read the rest, if you can stand it.

Thus we have a “jobless recovery” – if it can be called a recovery at all.

I am indeed one of the many who are “too old to retire, and too young to retire.” I am a lifelong IT professional. For many months, I have been working as a cashier, part-time, at minimum wage. I cannot earn enough to live on, and I continue to look for something better. Despite the canned spiel given during the hiring process, the cashier position is a dead-end job; there is no realistic prospect of promotions or pay raises. Even so, it is literally the ONLY job offer that I have received in over three years of diligent searching, and I accepted it instantly.

My story, and that of so many others, is here: Who are the 99ers?

What our government has done to us, by deliberately destroying one sector of the economy after another, is truly evil.

As Francis W. Porretto pointed out,

Excellently well put, and terribly depressing for anyone currently on the short end of the economic stick.

Another way of phrasing this would be: Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, a sinking tide lowers all boats…and the lowest of those boats will get beached as a result.

It is much worse than that. Not only are the lowest of those boats doomed, but also a goodly number of the other boats that have run up on heretofore unseen rocks and shoals.

It will hit many of us who did everything that we were supposed to do: living frugally, investing prudently, upgrading our skills, avoiding dissolute living habits, you name it. The only thing that we did wrong was to grow older at a desperately inopportune time.

May God have mercy on our souls.


I refuse to blame the long-term unemployed for their plight by assuming that they refused to take poorly-paying jobs before their unemployment ran out. (See Who are the 99ers?).

For the record, I DID accept the ONLY job offer I have received since February 2008, and I accepted it BEFORE the unemployment benefits ran out. Because it is only part-time and it only pays minimum wage, I actually was legally eligible to collect part of my unemployment benefit until the 99 weeks ran out. They simply told me to report exactly what I earned each week, which I did.

Oh, and by the way, I recently applied for another job for which I would have been eminently qualified. But they turned me down on account of the fact that I have not been working in the IT field since February, 2008.

No, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with my work ethic. I show up when scheduled (and also show up when called in on short notice). I follow instructions, I am honest, I am diligent about providing good customer service, I cooperate well with others – what’s not to like? But apparently everybody thinks I have forgotten the skills I spent 30 years in acquiring. They are mistaken, but I have no means of proving that.

Also see:

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Varun March 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Good One!! It is wonderful how you take time out to write for people like us. Really appreciate!!

2 BackwardsBoy May 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

True. All this could have been prevented and is the direct result of Marxist policy, which is the destruction of capitalism.

I started in manufacturing when I was 15, studied hard, completed a formal apprenticeship and went on to get a couple of other relevant certificates in my chosen field only to now find myself unemployable due to the forced shift to a service economy in the ’90’s.

I also blog on this and other things too, with the focus on politics. Just waiting for that crazy blog money to come rolling in…

3 Katherine October 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

BacwardsBoy … you have definitely chosen the right name as I think you’ve got it all “baciward”. Your statement SHOULD have been, “All (of) this could have been prevented and is the direct result of…” Pure Capitalist Policy, which seeks the destruction of the middle class.

It’s no wonder this country is in its current shape because of people like you believing the lies of conservative monsters. The very monsters who perpetrate atrositicies against the middle class, thereby creating a genocide, of sorts, against the unemployed.

I think you need to do some serious soul searching by way of study in economics, political science, and history. Perhaps some education might show you the right direction … and that direction is away from pure capitalism and toward a social democracy such as those of Denmark, Swenen, Norway … all of which have a much higher standard of living than that of the U.S. and a happy, contented citizenry.

4 1389 October 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Capitalism is what CREATED the middle class. Socialism destroys it, which is why there was no middle class in the Soviet Union – only the apparatchiki and the poor.

I have a degree in economics and have studied history my entire life. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are no longer free countries, nor can they make good on their promises of an artificially high standard of living. The native population doesn’t believe in the future enough to replace itself, thus the population is aging and there are fewer and fewer productive workers to pay for the massive social welfare demands. The immigrant population is largely Muslim, unproductive, dangerous, and a drain on the tax rolls in many ways. Even though some countries are still moving in the direction of “social democracy” that is not the right direction to go. As with Greece, the economy and the society will collapse as debt mounts up and the government runs out of other people’s money.

If you wish to comment on this blog, please refrain from unwarranted accusations. Conservatives are not monsters; they do not perpetrate atrocities against the middle class, nor do they create “a genocide, of sorts, against the unemployed.” It’s the liberals who do that – under the pretense of helping the poor. The only way they “help” the poor is by increasing their numbers. Oh, and by the way, in this recent recession/depression, the black middle class was hardest hit.

I’ve been unemployed before and had a very hard time finding any work at all – and here’s why: What you would call a “social democrat” (Obama) was in power, and he and the Democrat-run Senate and Congress had enacted laws and regulations that created too much risk, uncertainty, and regulatory burden for businesses to be profitable enough to hire anybody. When conservatives (such as Ronald Reagan) have been in power, I have never had any real trouble finding work.

5 WLIL October 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm

I think most people given a choice would like to work under moderately good management, if not exceptional management and one that they can give their best and not be treated like a fool by any employers. Europe, despite its many problems , is still a better place to seek work as most european still treat their workers as humans with certain rights and freedom, unlike mostly extremely exploitive and suppressive asian region that would put hardworking people off. In most asian region, unproductive and lazy workers are tolerated because most asian employers want to cut cost inappropriately and pay less.

6 WLIL October 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I think it is getting tougher to find good quality work nowadays and one that woulld enhance your lifestyle and quality of life and it is better to be your own boss, if possible, where you can control your own work performance rather than depend on substandard companies or organisation that that stick to a backward dogma or backward ideology or simply did not know how to improve their company behaviour or management. If those unscrupulous companies care only about profit but not the quality of the staff, it would be miserable time working in such a shabby environment, which is very prevalent in asia. I find it very difficult to find suitable jobs in asia due to the many backward management, apathetic workers and draconian leadership, shabby public transportations services in asia. A lot of companies in asia also are very racist and usually only employed their own kind.

7 WLIL October 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

At the end of the day, poor paying job is not the main problem. Substandard, impatient, horrible, abusive asian employers is one the main problems for some of us very productive unemployed workers who tried to reenter the asian workplace. Asian employers are more impatient and refused to assist new menial worker properly and they would discard any menial workers that they cannot exploit fully. Asian employers should educate their workers not to be a bully or abusive like them. At the end of the day, religion is not important. Humanity, freedom, free will to improve, producing quality work and improving quality of life is more important.

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