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Click here for a larger version of this chart created by Calculated Risk
The official unemployment rate is 9.2 percent, with 14.1 million people officially unemployed. Adding in underemployed and discouraged workers raises the unemployment rate to 16.2 percent, and 6.3 million people have been out of work for six months or more. There are 4.7 job seekers for every job.
NELP’s snapshot of jobs postings identified more than 150 ads that included exclusions based on current employment status, including 125 ads that identified specific companies by name. The overwhelming majority of the offending ads required that applicants “must be currently employed.” CareerBuilder.com and Indeed.com accounted for more than 75 percent of the exclusionary ads NELP identified. Staffing firms were prominently represented among those companies identified with the practice of excluding unemployed job seekers, accounting for about half of all the postings.
Significantly, the fact that NELP’s relatively limited research yielded such a broad cross-section of exclusionary ads—with postings for jobs throughout the United States, by small, medium and large employers, for white collar, blue collar, and service sector jobs, at virtually every skill level—suggests that the practice of excluding unemployed job seekers could be far more extensive than depicted in this limited sample.
The Fair Employment Opportunity Act will prevent employers and employment agencies from refusing to consider or offer employment to someone who is unemployed, or including language in any job advertisements or postings that states unemployed individuals are not qualified.
It seems like a safe bet that Republicans will oppose this; after all, Democrats proposed it and it helps non-wealthy people. However, with NELP reporting that a recent poll found two-to-one support for a ban on discrimination against the unemployed, it'll be interesting to watch Republicans try to justify their opposition.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 08:15 AM PDT.