Does long-term unemployment make it harder to get a job?
The answer to that question is yes, according to a new unemployment study. People who are unemployed for extended periods of time are more likely to experience difficulty in finding a new job.
While this is something that probably does not come as a surprise to Georgia residents who are out of work, the study findings have a silver lining. Employers are more likely to overlook long-term unemployment when the unemployment rate is high, presumably believing that it is the economy, not the applicant, that is the reason for the prolonged joblessness.
In the innovative new study, researchers sent 12,000 fake resumes in application for 3,000 real job openings in 100 different job markets around the country. In their falsified resumes, the researchers listed different employment statuses and, if the ‘applicant’ did not have a job, varied the length of unemployment from one to 36 months. They then tracked the number of callbacks received and compared them to determine whether length of unemployment made a difference to employers.
What they found was surprising. The study showed that the number of callbacks generally begins to fall after just one month of unemployment, and continues to decline through eight months of joblessness, where it seems to stabilize. However, the damage has been done by that point: the number of callbacks at eight months of unemployment is nearly 50 percent lower than the number at one month.
Certainly, this vicious cycle of unemployment is frustrating for people who have been out of work for several months, especially when state and federal unemployment benefits begin to run out. Hopefully, the job market continues to recover in order to provide relief to the long-term unemployed.
Source: Wall Street Journal, “How Employers See Prolonged Joblessness (and Why),” Daniel Akst, Sept. 27, 2012
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