As the House Republicans block unemployment benefits, many unemployed people are saying being jobless is keeping them jobless.
The unemployed in America face a lot of hurdles on the path toward gainful work. The number of people without jobs, for instance, far outstrips the number of available jobs. For others, especially African Americans, there are racial factors impeding employment. But perhaps the most frustrating thing keeping the unemployed out of work, and what people said in testimony before Congress yesterday, is that many employers simply won't hire the unemployed.
If this sounds like a ridiculous fable, consider these actual help-wanted ads, brought before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by employment activists on Wednesday:
[A] Texas electronics company said online that it would "not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason"; an ad for a restaurant manager position in New Jersey said applicants must be employed; a phone manufacturer's job announcement said "No Unemployed Candidates Will Be Considered At All."\n
Though the statistics say that there are five people competing for every on job opening in America, some employers believe that the long-term unemployed aren't working out of sheer laziness, or incompetence. Though there's very little truth to that stigma, it effectively creates a permanent unemployed class and keeps people poor. It's also a good thing to think about while considering the House Republicans' decision today to block additional long-term unemployment benefits.