Matthew O’Brien warns that businesses are discriminating against long-term unemployed:
As long as you’ve been out of work for less than six months, you can get called back even if you don’t have experience. But after you’ve been out of work for six months, it doesn’t matter what experience you have. Quite literally. There’s only a 2.12 percentage point difference in callback rates for the long-term unemployed with or without industry experience. That’s compared to a 7.13 and 8.95 percentage point difference for the short-and-medium-term unemployed. This is what screening out the long-term unemployed looks like. In other words, the first thing employers look at is how long you’ve been out of work, and that’s the only thing they look at if it’s been six months or longer.
Drum doubts that this is a new development, writing that hiring managers “have always been suspicious of applicants who have been out of work for a long period.” Yglesias wonders what long-term unemployment really indicates:
It’d be interesting to know whether this kind of discrimination is grounded purely in irrational bias, or if it reflects a sound satisficing strategy in which long-term unemployment really is a statistically reliable indicator of some unobserved quality.