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Woman holding sign saying I need a job.
Long-term unemployment remains stubbornly high, with 4.1 million people, or 36.1 percent of those officially unemployed, having been jobless for six months or more. For those people, getting a job is more difficult than even the terrible overall job statistics suggest, because they're routinely discriminated against. That discrimination is not just anecdotal:
In a recent study, Rand Ghayad a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, sent out 4,800 dummy résumés to job postings. Those résumés that were supposedly from recently unemployed applicants with no relevant experience were more likely to elicit a call for an interview than those supposedly from experienced workers out of a job for more than six months. Indeed, the callback rate for the long-term jobless ranged from just 1 to 3 percent, versus 9 to 16 percent for newly unemployed workers.

Unemployment becomes a “sorting criterion,” in the words of a separate study with similar findings. It found that being out of a job for more than nine months decreased interview requests by 20 percent among people applying to low- or medium-skilled jobs.

These are not results that jobless people can reverse by just thinking positive or applying for jobs paying less than they previously earned, to name two common suggestions for dealing with unemployment. Outlawing unemployment discrimination would be helpful, but the most important step would be slashing the unemployment rate. If only the Republicans would stop blocking job-creation initiatives.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually... (14+ / 0-)

    how do you think you could "outlaw" that type of discrimination....the same way they "outlaw" age discrimination.  Not very friends that are unemployed are much older - so how can one say if it is age, or time of unemployment...or just no work.

    The simplistic answer is not likely in this instance.  And the Republicans are NEVER going to vote for job creation...because they think it is an issue of laziness - not that there is a need for jobs.  And I don't see the President doing anything to fix it either.

    Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    by Whitewitch on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:38:18 PM PST

    •  Rcons are not going to vote for job creation (7+ / 0-)

      because they do not want the economy to improve under this president.  As they so gleefully admitted, they are completely focused on making this president fail.  They are willing to sink the entire ship of state because they want to drown the captain.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:51:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again with the GOP (0+ / 0-)

        how hard do you see Obama, Reid and Pelosi fighting for it? The GOP will fight for years over an issue they care about. They control 1/3 of the government. Don't throw up your hands.

      •  Also, we could (0+ / 0-)

        have passed the biggest jobs project known to mankind in 2009-10 when the GOP had no say.

        •  when the GOP had no say? (0+ / 0-)

          when was that, exactly?

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:18:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All of 2009-10 (0+ / 0-)

            When we had the White House; 58-60 Senate seats and the House where majority rules. Bush 43 never had numbers like that. And he got his agenda through the first two years. And both 43 and 44 had crisis, 43 nine months in, 44 from day one. 43 took advantage of his to an extreme that we are still morally and financially paying for. 44 let his go by the wayside in search of compromise with his own party. The GOP had zero say the first two years.

            •  58-60 Senate seats? ROFL!!! (0+ / 0-)

              close only counts with horseshoes and handgrenades--in the filibuster-happy Senate of the first Obama term, 58 votes was definitely NOT the same as 60

              tell you what.  why don't you look up how many weeks we had 60 members of the D caucus in the Senate (which is not the same as 60 guaranteed votes, by the way).

              i know the answer already but i'll give you a hint.  it was definitely not "all of 2009-2010".  Not even close.

              Welcome to the reality based community, 983134.  What you think you know, what you have heard repeated on talk shows, what you have said over drinks with friends, what biased media outlets have told you, all that is not good enough here.  If you are going to fit in at dK, you have to start paying closer attention to political facts.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
              Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 01:53:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How many seats did we have? Link? (0+ / 0-)

                Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43 never had the majority's Obama enjoyed. Look it up. The days of 70+ seats to one party are gone buddy. Every prez but this one has done more with less.

                When they were sworn in:

                Reagan: Senate 53(R); 46(D); 1(I)...House 242(D); 192(R); 1(I)
                Bush 41: Senate 55(D); 45 (R)...House 260(D); 175(R)
                Clinton: Senate 57 (D); 43 (R)...House 267(D); 167(R)
                Bush 43: Senate 50(D); 49(R); 1(I)...House 221(R); 212(D); 2(I)
                Obama: 58 (60 Veto proof for 72 days)...House 257(D); 178(R)

                You are making excuses, look at what the GOP was working with. We have no excuses.

                Think about what Bush 43 pushed through that Congress. Reagan had divided government and look what he pushed through. You have to fight for what you want. And we knew going in with Clinton and Obama that southern Dems are not progressive, but northern Repubs were not right wing but were there when the party needed them.

                So what you are saying is that progressives need 80+ seats to get our agenda passed. Come back to reality.

                By the way, there was a time when Kos was the reality based community. Defending Obama at all cost has made that claim ridiculous.

                •  ok you at least are finally admitting (0+ / 0-)

                  that we did not have full control for "all of 2009 and 2010".

                  good start.

                  I am already aware of the respective majorities the last five presidents had when they were sworn in.

                  every one of the last four presidents "did more with less" is literally true, i suppose, but meaningless, because what you are saying is everyone of the last four presidents

                  did more with less OPPOSITION.

                  Well, sure.  Anybody can do more with less opposition.

                  Why do people have such a hard time acknowledging that the nature of the opposition has changed for this president?

                  every prez but this one had an opposition party willing to make at least SOME effort to govern.   only this prez had to put up with an opposition party who was determined not to pass ANYTHING.

                  Reagan and Bush 41 and Clinton and Bush 43 did not have an opposition party who decided to filibuster EVERYTHING.

                  i am obviously NOT saying we need 80 seats to govern.  That's crazy talk.  But since the Rs started their filibustering ways, we need 60 votes for everything.

                  And even when we had 60 members of the caucus we did not have 60 VOTES.  Dems are not as lockstep as Rcons are.  Obama NEVER had a "veto proof" (perhaps you mean filibuster proof?) 60 votes because of blue dogs like Nelson, and LIEberman and others.  Never.

                  I am not making excuses or defending Obama at all costs.  I just push back against folks who say "he had control of both houses of congress for two years" because anyone paying attention knows that is a false statement.

                  Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                  Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                  by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 06:14:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are going to see what you want (0+ / 0-)

                    we do not hold our pols responsible, unlike the GOP. I will leave you with this. Remember 58-60 seats. Don't be a Sheep. You do not need 60+. Warren or Hillary will you.

                    Isaac Chotiner: You don’t think Elizabeth Warren makes a villain out of Wall Street?

                    Chuck Schumer: I am just going to leave it at what I said.

                    Isaac Chotiner: Forget Warren then. Is this a problem for your party?

                    Chuck Schumer: You don’t want to go after them for the sake of going after them. The left-wing blogs want you to be completely and always anti–Wall Street. It’s not the right way to be.

                    Isaac Chotiner: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case?

                    Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.


                    He is talking about us, but especially sheep like you, who will not hold him accountable.

                    •  i have no idea what you want that quote to mean (0+ / 0-)

                      i have no idea why you are bringing Hillary and EW into this

                      If we don't need 60+ then you know something I don't know about the Senate

                      i am not seeing what I want, I am seeing the truth.  did i say anything that was not true?  did I say anything that was just my opinion?

                      now if you want to hold people responsible, that's a good idea.  but we have to do more than just jaw about it.  we have to finance competing candidates and get them elected.  that's the only thing that matters.

                      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                      by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 05:50:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps it would help to indicate current (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, Dirtandiron, james321

    employment as self-employment as a consultant or contractor of some vague sort and have some type of portfolio ready that would include business plans for what you would have done had you been able to take Mitt Romney's wise advice to borrow 20K from your parents and start a business.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:39:50 PM PST

  •  It's time for a new CCC and WPA (17+ / 0-)

    The Nation has work to be done building/repairing infrastructure (roads, bridges, a high-voltage DC network,  a rapid national electric heavy rail backbone, etc, etc). At the same time, we have too many unemployed people. Clearly, the private sector is not by itself solving this problem.

    The solution is to put unemployed people back to work at good jobs building/repairing infrastructure, and the surest way to make this happen is for the government to create the programs and directly hire the people to do the work.

    Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

    by Zinman on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:44:39 PM PST

    •  With all our extra money? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew, Sparhawk

      Please specify how you'd fund such largesse, and how youd overcome the decades of regulatory inertia that would swamp them all? We are already $17T in debt, shall we just borrow it all from China?

      Those days are over for us. Too many entrenched interests on both sides of the aisle. Too many regulations. Too many hands in the cookie jar.

      Left Coast Libertarian

      by pacspeed on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:42:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We always seem to find (14+ / 0-)

        bailout money for Wall Street.Apparently we have enough money to give huge tax breaks to profitable corporations. Money to fight wars. Money given to working people does not just sit on the ground, it circulates in the economy.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:48:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Taxes (13+ / 0-)

        Poor poor USA. We just don't have enough money to build bridges or fund research or pay for sick people to get care. Or so the those with the money and power would have us believe. But of course the real problem is not lack of sufficient funds. Its about priorities.

        Where could we possibly get the money to care for our own people? For a start we could raise income taxes back to their level under President Reagan. We could close loopholes that allow corporations and the wealthy to avoid taxes by hiding money offshore. We could slash military spending. We could stop pouring public money into corporate coffers through privatization of government. The money can be raised. It can be done, but you're right about one thing. Entrenched interests want to stop that.

        Heck, we could even print money. We've got the presses and they are ready for action. We just have to stop with the defeatism and stop listening to billionaires who will stop at nothing to protect their riches while they impoverish the rest of us.

        Largesse. What a laugh. We are a rich country but the riches are being hoarded by the privileged few.

      •  Yep, we can waste $25B on a shutdown. (13+ / 0-)

        But the same $25B can never, ever be used to help the unemployed.

        We have the money.  Our priorities on using it are just massively screwed up.

      •  What about ending... (5+ / 0-)

        ... our adventure in Afganistan?

        That'd free up almost $2B per week, about $100B over a year. Still borrowed but, personally, I'd rather we were borrowing to improve our infrastructure than for stuff that explodes.

      •  Silly Talking Points (7+ / 0-)

        This is straight out of the Libertarian Book of Jive.

        The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

        by The Lone Apple on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:42:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wish you would lay off (9+ / 0-)

        the "Borrowing from China" bs. Most of our debt is held by US citizens. That's a RWNJ talking point, and has been discredited many times over!

        •  Do you have a link? (0+ / 0-)


          •  google is your friend (0+ / 0-)

            because I am in a didactic mood I decided to do the work for you on this one.

            i googled who holds majority of US debt and found:

            The largest holder of U.S. debt is, of course, the United States itself; the majority is American-owned.
            stick around dK long enough and you too can learn these simple fact checking skills

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:41:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I knew it wasn't true and wanted (0+ / 0-)

              to see your bullshit source. Just what I thought. generic Google search.

              As of March 2013:

              China: 32.8%
              Japan: 6.4%
              Other Foreign: 17%
              Fed (US): 8.9%
              Other Gov: 8%
              US Private: 26.9%

              Do the math dumbass.

              "stick around dK long enough and you too can learn these simple fact checking skills". Yeah right


              •  your source is some guy named Bill Mitchell (0+ / 0-)

                tell me about him.  is he supposed to be a big deal?

                is he supposed to be a more reliable source than the GAO?

                Debt held by international investors is less than half the amount of debt held by the public, and the debt not held by the public is held by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:02:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hey Unicorn, just saw your response (0+ / 0-)

                  Not very bright are you?

                  He is actually well respected. But here you go:


                  Make sure you the blurb inside the chart. "Foreign investers hold the largest share of US debt".


                  •  LOLOLOL ROFLMFAO (0+ / 0-)

                    ok, ok, i've stopped laughing now.  whew.  that was almost Colbert funny.

                    first--read the title of the chart:  FOREIGN holdings of US Debt.

                    second--read the article itself: it makes clear that the chart is only referring to foreign holdings of US debt.

                    third--read the last sentence of the article:  The largest holder of U.S. debt is, of course, the United States itself; the majority is American-owned.

                    cherry on top--you did not even notice you linked to the VERY SAME CHART I linked to on December 28th that you "knew wasn't true" and called a "bullshit source"!

                    omg that was funny.  when i saw your link i laughed until tears came out of my eyes.

                    from the context, the only thing that makes sense there is that the word "who" is missing.  It obviously should have read "Foreign investors WHO hold the largest share of US debt.

                    BTW, namecalling like "dumbass" and remarks like "not very bright are you" are not well thought of around here.

                    Plus they only work with people who are insecure about how smart they are, which does not apply to most of us at dK :-D

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 08:42:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  and (0+ / 0-)

                    you did not comment about my GAO source, which is as clear as possibly can be, but let me break it down for you

                    the bar chart shows a blue bar representing all debt held by the public.  $11.3 trillion.

                    then the first pie chart shows a green segment representing that only 48% (less than half) of the debt held by the public is held by international investors.

                    so the amount held by ALL international investors is less than half of $11.3 trillion, or about 5.6 trillion

                     the rest of the amount held by the public (the grey shaded area in the pie chart) is about 5.7 trillion.

                    Now go back to the bar chart.

                    Add the 4.8 trillion in debt held by government accounts (the purple bar in the bar chart) to the 5.7 trillion from the grey shaded area of the pie chart, and you see that the domestic holdings of US debt are approximately 10.5 trillion.

                    which is way more than the 5.6 trillion held by all foreign investors combined, which (duh) just happens to match the TOTAL shown on the chart we both linked to (see the right margin of the chart)

                    we have spent over a decade learning how to factcheck each other here.  it is very hard to win an argument without reputable links.

                    you told me a few posts ago to do the math (with an unnecessary personal insult tacked on).  now i have done it.

                    if that's not clear enough for you, I can't help you, Sundance

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 09:06:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  too many uniformed people (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Curt Matlock, TrueBlueMajority

        Willing to believe and propagate right wing squawking points.

        “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

        by ozsea1 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 08:26:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Borrow and spend like a motherfucker (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Y'know, how we got out of the Great Depression.

        Or, we could keep this depression going strong, for a long time. Neofeudalist thinking like that is unfortunately a renewable resource.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 11:17:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Fed is financing Wall Street every month. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        •  You people are living in a fantasy land. (0+ / 0-)

          If you seriously think you can "borrow and spend like a motherfucker" your way to prosperity.

          Basic arithmetic: To spend x on a project (regardless of merit), the government must collect x + n (n=the amount it uses to collect, apportion, and spend "x"). Therefore, no matter how much you want govt to spend on the pet project of your choice, it must extract MORE than that from the very people you purport to be helping by said expenditure.

          Or you can do it the way we've done for decades, and spend x+n+the interest rate on the debt we pile up.

          Your arguments that "Yeah, well they only should take it from the rich assholes who are hoarding it" is simply infantile. The rich are not "hoarding" anything. They are acting exactly as you, I, or John Q Public would. Maximising their assets the best they can.

          And to the more important point: We cant do another WPA, because we have strangled ourselves with regulations. Most, not all but most of those came from people just like you (generic DK reader). Just TRY to build another Hoover Dam. You'd have a federal injunction slapped on you faster than you could say Sierra Club.

          Same goes for any big project, they simply grind to a halt over all the conflicting parochial interests, be they labor, environmental, property rights, conflicting business interests whatever. Here in my backyard, the new Bay Bridge stands out as a perfect example. A 4 year 2 Billion dollar project turned into an 11 year 6 billion dollar one. In the bluest of blue states, this is the legacy all those well intentioned policies have wrought.

          Left Coast Libertarian

          by pacspeed on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:42:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That should have been done in (0+ / 0-)

      2009-10. Why wait until we lose the house to go all FDR?

      •  I would not have waited, but I'm not in charge (0+ / 0-)

        It's never too late to do the right thing. Do you agree?

        Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now 400ppm. That is "Climate Cluster Chaos". (hat tip to JeffW for CCC)

        by Zinman on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 10:22:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  helped one, anyway... (14+ / 0-)

    My best friend was out for almost a year, but I got him a job where I work... that was my happiest accomplishment of 2013.

    Things are more like they are now than they've ever been before...

    by Tom Seaview on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 03:48:32 PM PST

  •  Try being long term unemployed and over 50 (13+ / 0-)

    At that point you need to rely on the luck of the draw in finding that rare employer who sees the value in somebody....more mature. I was actually told more than once that I should retire early and spend time with my grandchildren, (my not having a husband or partner to provide income notwithstanding).

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:02:16 PM PST

    •  I am convinced ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, SoCalSocialist

      that soon, you will observe a large uptick in suicides among people over 50, and especially over 60 (but too young for full Social Security) because of this -- especially as unemployment insurance runs out.  Many of these people are (or were) trying to help support both older and younger members of their families.

      But, why not?  It will just leave more assets behind for the uber-wealthy to re-appropriate.

  •  And the real kick in the head? (17+ / 0-)

    People who've been out of work for an extended period of time are some of the most punctual, conscientious, and reliable people any employer is likely to find. When you've had a close encounter with the wolf at the door, you'll do anything to say employed.

    There are a couple of ways to look at this: One is getting a dependable person to fill the position; or someone who will take abuse like a third world welterweight. Whether the employer is a good-hearted person or a rat bastard, hiring someone who's been out of work for a long time can be just the ticket.

    •  Suppose I'm looking... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew, Sparhawk resumes from two applicants with comparable qualifications in the form of credentials, number of years of applicable experience, career progression, and geographical area.

      Both have moved between jobs a bit. In my field, I much prefer people who have changed jobs from time to time as they are generally more rounded, adaptable, and have more breadth of experience and exposure to different environments. "Lifers" rarely get a call unless I happen to know they are very good through first or second hand experiences.

      However, suppose one of the applicants has been unemployed for 18 months and the other is currently employed.

      All other things being equal, I'm significantly more likely to call the one who is currently employed if my time is limited (which, of course, it usually is).

      The one that is unemployed was likely near the bottom of the "lifeboat" list at the company they last worked (else someone else would have gotten laid off instead). As well, the hundreds of other employers who have probably seen this resume for the past 18 months have obviously not hired the applicant which suggests that the candidate is unlikely to stand out to me either (just the cruel hand of probability). I also wonder why the applicant wasn't observant enough to see the handwriting on the wall and bail out on their own terms rather than waiting for layoffs -- smart and observant people often are the first to leave a sinking ship.

      The one that is employed has obviously been judged by their current employer as worth keeping which is a good sign. Also, I'm much more comfortable that they would accept my offer because they are really interested and think it's a good match as they are giving up security to make the switch (as opposed to taking a job they really don't feel qualified for or interested in out of desperation in hopes they can use my position as a springboard).

      Certainly the chances that the unemployed applicant has had the "fear of god" put into them and that they have adapted to this to be a better employee doesn't outweigh my other concerns. In my experience, people really don't change that much - esp. in a field where just working "harder" is never as helpful as having a knack and interest for the work.

      Sure, there are many things that could sway me, but they are not commonly present. For example, if the unemployed applicant was let go by a respected company that went under and their "last employed" date corresponds with the "will the last one out turn off the light" date for the company, I would pay less attention to the fact they became unemployed. Also, if there was evidence the applicant wasn't actively looking for a job during the 18 months of unemployment, I would discount that factor somewhat.

      No, it's not "fair" by some measure, but it's efficient. Even if I didn't nothing else, I can't even phone screen 5% of the applicants that are looking for jobs in my groups - I've got to play the odds.

      I should point out that I work in a field with high training overhead and where hiring even a marginal employee can cost much more than just leaving the position open. This biases the equation a bit towards reducing the odds of a "mishire". Employees in my area have quite a bit of autonomy. They can distract others excessively by being a slow learner. They can fail to complete assigned work requiring others to pick up their work at the last moment (impacting product schedules which impacts revenue recognition). Worst of all, they can break stuff that others have to spend more time fixing than they would have spent just doing the work originally.

      •  Let me ask you one thing (0+ / 0-)

        If you were in a period when you didn't have any openings and you somehow came across the resume of a truly outstanding candidate, would you create a position for him/her?

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 06:47:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes... (0+ / 0-)

          ...when I can.

          If the person is compelling, I have usually been able to find budget for it.

          However, with the exception of "friends of friends" type of situations where a star employee knows another star at another company who might be willing to switch, I'm usually not looking at resumes if I don't have an opening (although, it's rare not to have an opening - they are hard to fill so tend to sit open for quite a while).

      •  You Assume much here. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        writeofwinter, Curt Matlock

        And you know what they say about that.

      •  If I read this... (0+ / 0-)

        and your other comments correctly, I get the feeling that you are writing as a person trying to justify corporate HR practices.  

        I also ought to congratulate you on your career choice. HR and accounting/economics seem to be the only lucrative fields for professionals these days. The thing is we all didn't invest our time and effort into number crunching and paper pushing. A whole lot of us Americans developed skills which are still needed and sorely in demand that HR and accounting (and thus upper management have deemed expendable). When you look at the state of the products and services we all consume, you see the effects of their slicing and dicing.

        And if we all did opt to pursue nebbishry, then you might find more competition for you position and might find your career in jeopardy. I'd wager that your comments might have a less condescending tone then.  

        •  Your assumptions... (0+ / 0-)

          ...are completely wrong. I'm not anywhere close to HR (or accounting or economics) professionally. In fact, I have had little respect for HR departments at most companies I've worked.

          I'm an engineer and a hiring engineering manager (switching between the two periodically) in R&D.

          I generally avoid involving HR in the hiring process until as late as possible. If they get their hands on the resumes, they either discard the best ones (as most HR people are best at buzzword matching - which isn't helpful to me) or just introduce a week delay in the process potentially giving competing companies a head start on the candidate.

          However, realistically, it's very rare for a useful resume to come in directly from a candidate in response to a job posting. Most come through the "grapevine" or recruiters who seek out the good candidates (who are often happily employed and would never have seen a job posting that they are a perfect match for).

          •  Interesting. (0+ / 0-)
            "I'm an engineer and a hiring engineering manager (switching between the two periodically) in R&D."
            With that kind responsibility and duties shouldn't you be working? Or at least judging all those resumes you've been telling us about?

            Glancing at the amount and length of comments you've made, I'd tend to think that you're spending an inordinate amount of time playing the contrarian on this site.

            I wonder what your boss thinks about your side project here?

            •  In my field... (0+ / 0-)

              ...many people keep weird hours and, believe it or not, we have vacation days!

              My boss(es) have never cared much what hours I work (assuming, of course, that I show up at necessary scheduled events such as meetings either in person or "virtually"). I have a job to do and how well that gets done is all they care about.

              Much of my work gets done at odd hours and remotely. Sure, there is some "face time" but given that some employees are remote and others come in very early and others come in very late on the days they are "in office" and there are meetings with people half way around the world that can go on until midnight (my time) or start at 7AM (my time), standard hours make little sense and being "in office" for every meeting makes NO sense.

              At this instant I'm not a hiring manager (my hours would be a bit more regular probably if I was).

              If I were to graph when I contribute to this venue, I could probably figure out when projects were behind schedule or when there was more slack time. Unfortunately, I don't recall ever noticing that DK has an API to access the raw information in a structured fashion.

      •  Your priorities are almost exactly opposite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        writeofwinter, Curt Matlock

        mine and my experience.

        Those people who move jobs regularly... probably were looking for work during their working hours at their previous employer. The previous employer invested a lot of time into them and just as they were starting to really know the product and the culture, they jumped ship. Perhaps they had a good reason, or perhaps they were chasing a bit more money. But what makes them think they'll stay with you or consider it in their interest to do what's right for your company?

        People who are currently employed can be terrible employees too. It may be that they're looking for a new position because someone is starting to notice.

        I've been in the cubicle next door to the employee who was jumping ship in this way, and listened to a lot of ahem, interesting, phone calls. We were glad to see him go. ;-)

        In technical jobs, often very good people are passed over because they are not a perfect fit for the buzzwords, and not much attention is paid to their adaptability. Then, each month they don't find the perfect fit is another nail in the coffin. I wonder if you've actually interviewed some of these people who were long term unemployed or if you just assumed they were unworthy. I'd encourage you to interview some and make the decision about their skills and ability after talking with them. With Skype interviews it doesn't even have to take a ton of extra time to give someone a quick look. You might be pleasantly surprised.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 09:51:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Changing jobs... (0+ / 0-)

          ..."regularly" is subjective.

          I often find that people who switch jobs, on the average, every three or four years early in their career and every six to eight years later to be good matches. If they haven't changed employers quite that often but have moved around to increasingly responsible roles and across very diverse projects, that can blunt the "didn't change jobs often enough", but it's not a complete substitute. Companies have cultures that cross projects and jobs and I want people who have experienced diverse corporate cultures. In part because they are more likely to adjust to whatever culture the company I'm with at that time has rather than forcefit the culture they know into their new world. The other reason is that people from diverse corporate cultures have learned what does/does not work and seem to make more meaningful suggestions on how to improve the environment in their new world.

          So, changing jobs isn't a "goal" -- I care a LOT about what they contributed at each job and, of course, their skills.

          In my experience, most employees in my field are not very good even though they have jobs, but the chronically unemployed ones are, on the average, much worse.

          One interesting thing I've noticed is that as I track mediocre employees who I inherited and I ended up doing the dirty work of getting rid of (because previous managers were not very good at parts of their jobs), generally the worse they are, the longer they remain unemployed. There are, of course, exceptions - I'm talking averages. And, of course, that doesn't imply that other long term unemployed are unemployed for similar reasons - it's just an observation I find interesting.

          I have phone screened (I'm not fond of Skype interviews - YMMV) a few long term unemployed over the years and, to my recollection, none moved to the next stage. It was usually fairly obvious, upon talking to them, why they were long term unemployed (and not for good reasons).

          However, I may be forgetting some who were long term "unemployed" by choice (such as having left a job and built their own house from the ground up without using any contractors -- just for the fun of it; or perhaps to spend a year or two with a newborn) as I really wouldn't have considered those people as "unemployed" and they probably would have come in through their network of contacts rather than in "blind" response to a job listing (most people who aren't confident they could do that are unlikely to risk taking two years off to due to the risks associated with career reentry).

          I agree on buzzwords (as I coincidentally posted up/down thread before I read your response). I pretty much ignore the buzzword section of resumes except for the purpose of checking the honesty and self awareness of the candidate. If the list seems awfully long, I will often pick one that I know a lot about and drill on it -- the candidate better know it well, else they shouldn't have put it on the resume and I don't know what I can/can't trust them about (nail, hammer, meet coffin). In fact, a single buzzword under "expert in" lists that a candidate shows poor expertise in is the end of the candidate even if I have NO need for that skill. I, of course, adjust for experience (a freshout with little or no work experience gets a pass while a 20 year veteran in the field gets no leeway).

  •  I'd like to know what the low to medium skilled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, elfling

    jobs are.

    I find this interesting as someone who's looked at resumes for 10+ years. Unfortunately, a gap in employment is something that's looked at with a hmmm?

    For me, if there was a steady work history then a sudden stop, I assume it was something beyond the applicant's control. But if there are gaps between each period of employment I generally toss the resume.

    Anyway, I find it odd that people who've been unemployed for a longer period of time aren't recruited more. From a purely profit perspective, I would assume they'd accept a lower salary than a person who is currently employed.

    That sucks, but it is what it is. I must be an outlier. This sort of discrimination makes no sense to me from a hiring perspective for low and medium skilled jobs. It makes sense for specialized fields, but not these ones.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:18:23 PM PST

    •  Depends on the profession, though. (8+ / 0-)

      When you live on soft money as scientific staff, gaps in employment have gotten...pretty common.  Funding is getting harder and harder to get, and pretty much all my jobs ended the same way: "Funding expired."

      For soft-money STEM fields, it's now the norm.  I hope to heaven that your attitude isn't common among employers in the sciences, or my career is permanently over before it ever begun.

      •  Well, since I don't hire in scientific fields (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, Naniboujou

        You are safe.  I would hope that people hiring in fields that live on soft money understand that side of it.

        I don't and never have. I am held to the bottom line.

        Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily condone hiring practices as is, but in my field of work things change incredibly fast. So if I'm only consulting on a resume for someone who will be my peer, I would have to ask about how the person has kept up on the latest developments while they've been unemployed. I don't have the time to retrain someone on the basics.

        If I'm more active in hiring someone as an admin, I don't really care. I don't determine wages; that's done way before resumes come in. I'm just saying, if you're looking at profit motive alone, someone who is more desparate for work would be more ideal because they would accept a lower salary than an experienced person who already has a job.

        I'm not sure why you took that as something against you; I didn't intend any insult. Just thinking out loud. I genuinely want to know what qualifies as a low or medium skilled job in this study.

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:01:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I know! Put a fake job in showing you're (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, james321

    currently employed, and they can't call because that would get you fired. They'll never find out!

  •  I'd really like to see the govt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, NoMoreLies, Simplify

    give out loans and grants so people can start their own business and do other creative things.  Relying on the current economy to provide jobs is unrealistic.

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:20:00 PM PST

  •  We aren't going to be able to regulate this (9+ / 0-)

    meaning the obvious answer is to put them to work anyway.

    That way our pool of recently employed labor grows and we can get a lot of things we need to get done, done.

    Direct economic stimulus, with benefits!

    Bring on a new WPA CCC type organization that can make good use of these people.  They need it as much as we need the product of their labors.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***
    The ACA is all about getting started toward great health care. No turning back. The way forward is through. Every Democrat is married to this law and we all need to work together to make it awesome.

    by potatohead on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:26:19 PM PST

  •  yes, this has been reported elsewhere (5+ / 0-)

    if you have to have a job to get a job, then how can the unemployed hope to get jobs???

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 04:49:46 PM PST

  •  Time for 32 hour work week (8+ / 0-)

    Its time for the 32 hour work week with up to six weeks of Federally mandated payed vacation-- if you've worked for the same employer for at least six years (one week of payed vacation for every year worked for an employer up to six weeks).  

    That will end unemployment in America-- once and for all and give Americans more time to spend with their families or improving their pay continuing their schooling.

    Federal, State, and local government employers should be the first to go in this direction followed by a Federal law that mandates overtime pay for employees that work more than 32 hours per week.


    •  Rec'd even though... (6+ / 0-) has no chance of happening.

      When I was growing up (seventies), it was assumed that one of the benefits of increased productivity would be greater leisure time for working people.  Needless to say, that hasn't happened, nor is it likely to.

      But it's one more way that the plutocrats have screwed us out of the future that we could have had.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:18:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  France tried a... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlexDrew, Sparhawk

      ...35 hour workweek and it didn't work - it was abandoned in 2005 IIRC.

      First, remember that by reducing the workweek, people have less money to spend to stimulate the economy (keeping the pay the same for less hours would just cause some combination of inflation, loss of global competitiveness, and off-shoring).

      Reducing the workweek would also negatively impact the productivity of the country as a whole. Hiring 10 people to do a job @32 hours a week is less cost effective than hiring 8 to do the job @40 hours a week. The employer has to now incur the cost of healthcare, hiring, retaining, training, performance appraisals etc for 20% more employees at the first level -- all fixed "per employee" costs w/o any attendant increase in output. Also, remember that the manager of these people will also be doing 20% less work a week so you need 20% more managers even if the 32 hour rule was applied only to managers -- so you have to increase the first layer of management by something greater than 20% for no increase in department output. Also, it's well understood that efficiencies are often achieved by involving less people in solving a problem due to the n(n-1) communication paths in a group of n people and this impact becomes significant for n=8 vs. n=10 (it's 56 paths vs. 90 - a 61% increase!)

      Also, in some businesses (such as engineering), a subset of the people often contribute well more than their share of the intellectual content to the product and often work more hours because they actually like what they are doing. To handcuff these people and prevent them from working more than 32 hours a week would have devastating results on the amount of work the group gets done. These people are not "replaceable drones" - only a small percentage of the workers have the skills, interest, and drive to do this.

      To pick an extreme example for the sake of illustration of some of these points. If Einstein had been limited to 32 hours a week of work instead of perhaps 64 he would work when engaged on a problem, would the world have found another Einstein to develop the same science in concert with the first Einstein?

      Nope, 35 hour workweek is not going to happen - forced underemployment is not the answer to unemployment.

      •  let's try it first (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Curt Matlock

        Before being so dismissive, cuz the tried n true that's working for you. ain't working for the rest of us.

        “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

        by ozsea1 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 08:40:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AlexDrew, Sparhawk

          ....I'm not sure one wants to crater the recovery of the strongest economy of the world (well, maybe second strongest after China depending on how one measures) on a hunch.

          The US economy is recovering fairly well. No, 100% employment is NOT the goal - that's a sick economy. Even the notion that 3% unemployment is "steady state", "healthy",  and "frictional" probably isn't true anymore with the rapid changes due to technology (i.e., more menial  jobs will be replaced by technological solutions and those workers need to retrain or go on public assistence). Trying things that failed elsewhere and have (to my knowledge) never succeeded anywhere is pretty risky.

          If one wants to try untested (or failed when tested) approaches, there are HUNDREDS to choose from -- supporters of a 32 hour workweek need to battle it out with the other "hundreds - 1" to pick one that they agree "will work".

          •  blithely optimistic (0+ / 0-)

            Sounds just like a Villager.

            Seriously, you're a HR professional?  No wonder.

            “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

            by ozsea1 on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 08:57:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

              Not an HR professional - nowhere near HR.

              •  then why the rw villager squawking points? (0+ / 0-)

                Seriously, things are not recovering, unless you're a onepercenter.

                This demand side (70%) economy needs more people working, and at decent wages.

                Aggregate demand suffers otherwise; a sound and stable (fewer financial bubbles) capitalist economy depends on it.

                “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

                by ozsea1 on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 06:10:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  WillR (0+ / 0-)

        On this issue you talking to creationist. No matter the facts or history, they are going to side with the unicorns.

    •  Look at France (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it does not work.

  •  The one thing I never want to hear again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    writeofwinter, ozsea1

    is "get a job" or variants thereof, from anyone who has anything positive or even neutral/accepting to say about discriminating against the long-term unemployed. In a job market with three applicants for every job opening, someone is going to be "the long-term unemployed." Have we really just written off 2% (millions) of our population as unworthy of being part of our society ever again, because a recession happened and God knows it can't be the rich who suffer as a result? It would be nice for the capitalists if every year they could figure out who the least-productive 1% of the workforce is, and cull them out of society, sentencing them to live as a homeless person until they die of starvation or exposure. This would increase the productivity of our remaining workforce and the capitalists' return on investment. But I think we should have a revolution and kill all those rational-choice-making capitalists before we allow American citizens to be dehumanized in this way.

    In slightly less ranty terms, it seems to me that it's the duty of the Democratic party to restore long-term unemployment benefits and keep them going for as long as our society has this long-term unemployment problem.

  •  Don't Be Unemployed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zezefe, Simplify

    Start a business. While you are looking for a new job, go into business and put that on your resume. You don't have to have a successful business.

    From an employer's point of view, starting a business translates into having gumption.

    From your point of view, it gives you something to talk about and can lead to better self-esteem. That gives you an edge getting a job.

    And, you may be lucky and the business may take off.

    So, my advice is to never be unemployed. You've seen the statistics. Do you really want to be unemployed?

  •  Some whole professions, like journalism, are (0+ / 0-)

    disappearing and many thousands of reporters and editors have been laid off, even ones with high-profile glamorous jobs, never to have a hope of working again or of "repackaging" themselves as a syndicated feature.  And there seem to be many more thousands of amateurs out there willing to do the same work for free.  There are never any vacancies to be filled.
    Then too, no one seems to consider the effect computers and machines have had on employment in general.  We could probably never have a WPA or CCC again because machines do so much of the labor humans used to do. even our permanent war economy can't seem to save us and the good, Middle Class public sector jobs that were available when I graduated from college, circa 1970, are pretty much gone -- social workers, probation officers, mental hospital workers, employment counselors etc. -- because those workers served the poor or ill and who funds that any more? My state laid off virtually all of its unemployment department workers a couple of years ago but it did let them submit their own unemployment applications before they went out the door.  As for the rest of the unemployed, if they couldn't apply online they were screwed, and even then it took up to six months.  
    I am so grateful to have been born at the very front of the Baby Boomer generation and happy to have made it to retirement.  My son, a skilled journalist, is working but probably won't be so lucky.

    Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government -- Bernie Sanders

    by OnePingOnly on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 08:23:42 PM PST

  •  Rather than legislation (0+ / 0-)

    I think it would be easier to fix this from the bully pulpit.

    The President can ask business leaders to come talk this out with him. Convince a few of them of the folly of this strategy. Have them, in turn, speak out, about the value of looking at this group of workers - some of which are indeed very talented.

    Have Warren Buffet et al give a TED talk about how hiring these workers made him smarter and richer and we'll be well on our way.

    Best of all, does not require an act of Congress. :-)

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 09:40:49 PM PST

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