“I tend to believe that what is going on is a queueing process, where employers rank individuals like they’re sitting in the queue, and they go with the short-term [unemployed],” says Rand Ghayad, a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Northeastern University and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “The only way they’re going to go back to the end of the queue is when they run out of short-term unemployed applicants.”
For a study published earlier this year, Ghayad sent out 4,800 resumes for 600 job openings. By varying the lengths of unemployed periods for his faux job-seekers, Ghayad found that many employers preferred applicants with little to no experience, but with short unemployed periods, rather than with lots of experience and long jobless periods.
In light of his research, Ghayad feels that the answer is for the government to work harder to boost employment for everyone.
“The only thing I would say should be done is for the government and Federal Reserve to create more job openings” via fiscal and monetary stimulus, Ghayad says.