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.