Some stories make you just want to give up on the economy.
The Washington Post has such a story today, reporting that companies don’t even look at resumes for people who have been unemployed for a long time. In the United States right now, that’s 4.7 million people, and those are just the ones still looking for work.
The Post says the unemployment crisis may simply be here to stay.
Now, it’s unclear whether companies are irrationally discriminating against the long-term unemployed or whether they have good reason for screening out these applicants. Privately, many employers worry that someone who’s been out of work for six months “may have outdated skills, or may be a short-timer who is desperate enough to take any work now but will leave when something better comes along.”
Either way, the broader trend is having disastrous effects. As my colleague Ylan Mui reported earlier, this is partly why Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren worries that our cyclical unemployment problems could become structural and long-lasting. The recession threw many people out of work. Those who stayed unemployed for six months or more can’t even get a callback for jobs. Their skills erode further. Eventually they drop out of the labor force. That all weighs down on America’s long-term growth prospects.