Third, in a weak job market long-​​term unem­ploy­ment tends to be self-​​perpetuating, because employers in effect dis­crim­i­nate against the job­less. Many people have sus­pected that this was the case, and last year Rand Ghayad of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­vided a dra­matic con­fir­ma­tion. He sent out thou­sands of fic­ti­tious résumés in response to job ads, and found that poten­tial employers were dras­ti­cally less likely to respond if the fic­ti­tious appli­cant had been out of work more than six months, even if he or she was better qual­i­fied than other applicants.

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