Tales from the "new normal"
This article is republished from PBS
"In my area a company will not hire you if you've been unemployed for too long." –Need to Know viewer
Although the unemployment rate hovers near a five-year low, it is still at a painful level. Critics say that the official numbers masks the true problem by not counting those who have just plain given up looking for work or are not working enough to support themselves. The U.S. government itself will admit to some 20 million un and underemployed Americans. Indeed, some economists, labor statisticians and management experts are warning that the eventual outcome of our recent economic troubles might well be a "jobless recovery". It's called "the new normal" — an economy where we never get near full employment again and where the traditional strategies used to land a job — more education, working your connections, rapidly sending resumes to every listing — won't do the trick. And, then there's the bias against the long-term unemployed. After a spate of complaints about discrimination against the currently jobless, several states have passed laws which prohibit any employer holding a candidate's employment status against them. Will it help? What will? Read some of the stories we've received over the past year and add your own.