Among those working with Sharone is Rand Ghayad, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researcher and vis­iting scholar at the Fed­eral Reserve Bank of Boston, who has pub­lished ground­breaking work on long-​​term unem­ploy­ment. Ghayad, who mailed 4,800 fic­ti­tious resumes and recorded employer response rates, con­cluded that com­pa­nies fre­quently screen out appli­cants who are unem­ployed for more than six months.

Ghayad found that employers showed four times more interest in can­di­dates unem­ployed for six months or less — even if they had less expe­ri­ence and fewer qual­i­fi­ca­tions than those expe­ri­encing longer bouts of job­less­ness. Older unem­ployed workers, he found, were most fre­quently passed over, viewed as having out­dated skills or as being “dam­aged goods.”

I believe workers aged 55 and older are not only suf­fering from unem­ploy­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion, but also age dis­crim­i­na­tion, which is making it nearly impos­sible for them to find work in this slug­gishly growing economy,” Ghayad said. “Long-​​term unem­ploy­ment among older workers should be our pri­ority as a nation.”

Solving long-​​term unem­ploy­ment would boost the nation’s economy, which is at risk of losing the poten­tial, pro­duc­tive capacity, and spending power of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, Sharone and Ghayad said. Many long-​​term unem­ployed ulti­mately drop out of the work­force, depleting retire­ment sav­ings, col­lecting Social Secu­rity early, or turning to public assistance.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →