Floyd Norris ends an interesting discussion on the increase in the rate of long-term unemployment by telling readers that many of the long-term unemployed lack the skills to take the jobs that are available. However, there is research that suggests this is not the case.

Rand Ghayad, a researcher affiliated with the Boston Federal Reserve Bank sent out matched resumes to employers with difference being that some reported being unemployed for more than 26 weeks (the definition of long-term unemployed) and some did not. While many of the applicants who reported being short-term unemployed or currently working were called in for interviews, almost none of the applicants who reported being long-term unemployed were called back. This suggests that the main problem faced by the long-term unemployed is discrimination, not a lack of skills.

 

Note: "tern" was changed to "term" out of respect for birds everywhere.

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