Long-Term Unemployment Newest Form of Workforce Discrimination

By: Meagan O'Halloran Email
By: Meagan O'Halloran Email

Those long-term unemployed workers are having a tougher time finding a job and the longer they're out of work, the tougher it gets.

Experts say those who've been out of work for a long period of time are victims of the newest form of workforce discrimination. Employers are apparently more willing to hire those who already have a job, as opposed to those who don't.

Workforce Center staff members say they see a lot of jobseekers whose current circumstance may be working against them.

Employers are looking at more than just experience. If you've been out of work for awhile now, your application could end up in the trash.

"They are looking at their resume, and they are looking at any gaps, so it's important for job seekers to be able to explain in those gaps" says Maria Goodwin of the Gulf Coast Workforce Board.

Carmella Bowers is unemployed and says she is asked that daunting question every time.
"Why have you been out of work for so long? Why is no one hiring you, why did you quit in the first place? That's what it boils down to."

Like Bowers, it's been an obstacle James Woods has yet to overcome. He's been out of work for the better part of this year and still, hasn't had much luck landing a job.

"I think it's unfair, you know, for people who have been out of work to not have that chance to show that they can do the job" says Woods.

To improve your chances of getting a job, Workforce advisors suggest you stay busy by volunteering, networking, and signing up for classes or additional career training. It will enhance your resume and give you a better shot at landing a job.

If there is a silver lining, it's that Bay County's 9.5% unemployment rate is still lower than the state average.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by David Location: PC on Jul 26, 2011 at 02:37 AM
    @Rick -- maybe some people who are chronicly unemployed don't have the best clothes because they don't have the money for proper interview attire anymore?
  • by Bec Location: PC on Jul 25, 2011 at 05:25 AM
    I totally agree w/Rick as I was an employer that was always trying to find someone who REALLY wanted/needed a job. A LOT of the "unemployed" go to fill out applications looking like they just woke up, just got done with a crazy night partying, dress innappropriately for a possible interview on the spot, and honestly act like they just don't care. I wouldn't want to hire someone to represent my company like that b/c how someone carries themselves and takes some pride in how they look does sometime reflect on how their work ethic is. BUT, shoe on the other foot...I am unemployed and have been for over a year and I can't even find a decent minimum wage job. And that is probably due to the fact I have been unemployed so long...oh yea, I chose not to receive the "UNEMPLOYMENT" compensation and welfare b/c I refuse to abuse the system. Guess I'm paying for that too...I'm going back to College.
  • by Debby Location: Panama City on Jul 24, 2011 at 09:35 PM
    There are lots of reasons for gaps in working. Women stay home to be mothers and then need to go back to work. You would think that if they had previously worked for a long period of time at one place before their "employment gap," these employers would be able to figure that out. Another stupid reason not to hire is if someone has a poor credit rating. There are lots of reasons for that, too. Like husbands who ran up credit debt and then left the state, leaving the wife (and kids) to fix the mess (or vice versa). Another stupid reason not to hire someone is they are supposedly "over qualified." Stupid employers deserve to get the stupid employees they end up hiring repeatedly using all these stupid practices.
  • by Rick Location: Panama City on Jul 24, 2011 at 04:30 PM
    As an employer, there are things on an application that stand out more than others. Long gaps between jobs is one. Why couldn't the person find a job? Did they really try, or just stay home and collect a check for as long as they could? Did they apply too far above their ability or experience? Too often do I say that I am hiring and nobody comes in that "appears" like they are really trying to get the job. Flip flops, multiple piercings, wife beaters...this is not the way to get a serious interview. When someone finally comes in dressed for an interview, I find it hard not to hire them on the spot.
    • reply
      by Bec on Jul 25, 2011 at 05:25 AM in reply to Rick
      I totally agree Rick!
  • by ANONYMOUS Location: PC on Jul 23, 2011 at 09:48 PM
    If they did a little research they would find that most of the seasonal jobs are being taken by foriegn applicants being brought in by business owners to keep the pay low. There are a large group of chinese and russian workers staying at the old howard johnsons now run by royal american. Most of the go cart places and amusement places use foreign workers.
  • by Anonymous Location: Fl on Jul 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM
    I just want to know how they verify this kind of information with the vast additions to the workforce coming from oh let's say Russia every season... I've personally known of the Russian labour force coming every season in large numbers since the mid 90's. Probably since before then, but I didn't see it. I mean it's great if you can't ford a Russian bride service and want to date a few first... But they're also taking the same seasonal jobs I would take, and I can't afford to take them out... Oh lie on your applications too, find no longer in business businesses to fill those gaps they don't and can't check...
  • by Randy Location: PC FL on Jul 23, 2011 at 06:25 AM
    If investigated a little more, this news story would have shown that this practice is nothing more than a "front" for legalized Age Discrimination. That is the real story here, and it was clearly missed.
  • by Scott Location: Panama City, FL on Jul 23, 2011 at 05:46 AM
    This coming from the people that are suppose to help the unemployed find jobs. I thought descrimination was illegal, and why are these companies allowed to use the workforce center if they are using this practice? Also, most of us that are unemployed did not quit, the place we worked at was shut down thanks to our great leaders in Washington DC, and by our own representatives here in our county.
  • by Scott Location: PC on Jul 23, 2011 at 05:21 AM
    This coming from a place that is suppose to help people find jobs. So why are these companies allowed to use the center to find workers, and descriminate. I though descrimination was against the law, and to the business doing the hiring, some of the workers did not quit there jobs, the business closed no thanks to the government.
  • by chester Location: panama city on Jul 23, 2011 at 02:28 AM
    Sounds like a great headline, but if you were hiring, who would you hire?
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