Can't Get A Job Because You're Unemployed?

Lunchtime Live -- Can't Get A Job Because You're Unemployed?
Lunchtime Live -- Can't Get A Job Because You're Unemployed?

Study after study has shown that employers are simply less likely to hire someone who's out of work. Whether it's job ads explicitly requesting "current employment" and a "stable work history," or an interviewer's raised eyebrow at a resume gap, discrimination against the unemployed has helped keep long-term joblessness at its staggering levels. It's also almost impossible to prove.

What forms does it take? How do you know it's happening to you? And what can you do about it? These are the questions we wrangled with in this week's edition of AOL Jobs' Lunchtime Live weekly video series. We were joined by Donna Ballman, employment attorney and AOL Jobs contributor, and Maurice Emsellem, the policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project, a lower-wage worker advocacy group.

"Its like when you're dating and you want someone who has a boyfriend or girlfriend. It's human nature, we want somebody who somebody else wants," explains Ballman. "If nobody wants you, then we don't want them either. It's the same with products, and it's the same with people."

But that's a tragic catch-22, at a time of historic levels of long-term unemployment. "This crisis of long-term unemployment, we never in the history of the nation, going back to the depression, had so many people who are unemployed for such long periods of time," says Emsellem. "Folks need to speak up. The voices of the unemployed, they're often not heard."

Watch the full 30-minute segment on YouTube here.