A case can be made that chronic unemployment is the biggest problem facing both the US and many other countries around the world, especially the ones in Europe who are experiencing record unemployment levels lead by Spain and Greece at about 26% which are similar to the levels experienced in the Great Depression of the 1930s.
When I heard stories about companies who refused to accept job applications from the unemployed, I couldn’t believe it! Just a bad joke or somebody got their facts wrong, I thought. But it’s true! Check out this link.
[A]s William Dickens and Rand Ghayad of Northeastern University recently showed, the relationship has broken down for the long-term unemployed: a rising number of job openings doesn’t seem to do much to reduce their numbers. It’s as if employers don’t even bother looking at anyone who has been out of work for a long time.
To test this hypothesis, Mr. Ghayad then did an experiment, sending out résumés describing the qualifications and employment history of 4,800 fictitious workers. Who got called back? The answer was that workers who reported having been unemployed for six months or more got very few callbacks, even when all their other qualifications were better than those of workers who did attract employer interest.
So we are indeed creating a permanent class of jobless Americans.
About 60 percent of employers use credit checks to screen applicants, even though research has shown that people with damaged credit are not automatically poor job risks. Besides, the credit agencies that compile and sell records on about 200 million Americans make mistakes.
Getting fired during your peak earning years has always been scary. You'd scramble for a few months, but you'd find something. Today it's different. Get fired and you can scramble for years--and still find nothing. Welcome to the cold new world of the prematurely, involuntarily retired.
Stripping this all to its essentials, what we have is too many qualified workers seeking far too few available jobs. When this happens, employers can become more and more selective to where things get out of hand. The only way this will change is when there are an adequate number of jobs that need to be filled which will require employers to be more reasonable with their requirements.
So which path will it be for the US? We can continue to follow the path of disaster that Europe is following but now even they are
starting to reconsider the notion that cutting government spending will create jobs instead of destroying them. In the US, we have the land of the sequester where the debate seems to be little more than how much to cut rather than if we should cut.
It was comedian Stephen Colbert who recently commented in his best mock serious tone that "We have to keep cutting the government budget and laying off people until those people get jobs." While this was meant to be funny, what is sad is that too many people in the position of power and wealth really believe this!