US employers looking down on the unemployed and those taking assistance

In threads about jobs it’s sometimes mentioned that being unemployed makes you less desirable to employers. Also, in my thread about some on-line applications asking about benefits such as TANF or SNAP, a couple of people indicated that people who are on assistance are seen as not motivated to work.

Just out of curiosity, is that kind of thinking prevalent now, even though unemployment is at 9% and for every job available there’s 8.5 people applying for it? Or do they not care and still think it’s somehow our fault that we’re still unemployed?

Somehow or another it still makes sense, if you have jobs to fill, to assume that the market is perfect and that anybody who is unemployed is, in fact, unemployable.

This is a good one for my first post…

Where I work we have a massive turnover rate due too the hours we work(5 12hr days with 6-8hrs on Saturday.) We have gone from asking people if they need a job to do they want a job. The wanting of a job is starting to override the need for one. For every 5 new people we have come through the door 2 might stay past 4 months. The unemployment numbers IMO are misleading. 9% might be out of work but 9% are not out due to just being laid off/fired etc. A lot of people have the mentality now that “Why should I work when I can get everything paid for by someone else?” I have family members who wont look for a job cause they make out better living off welfare and the tax payers of this country. I can see where employers are coming from on this. Most people I have seen or interviewed who was getting some kind of assistance are only looking for a job because their benefits are running out. Lack of motivation and work ethic adds a lot to the unemployment numbers I think. It’s a shame that hard working people are having a hard time finding work because the stigma that the lazy ass ones are causing.

From what I’ve read, there seems to be an expectation among employers that they can find EXACTLY what they want - someone with a wide variety of great skills - given that the labor market is so tight. Employers feel that person was unlikely to have gotten laid off (or remain unemployed for long even in a bad economy), and so are still poaching employees from other firms rather than look among the unemployed.

Personal experience bears this out. A lot of the people I know currently employed have had flurries of Linked In recruiting inquiries over the past six months.

This is for professional, skilled labor.

Of course, employers are being blind - there are plenty of great people who are still unemployed and were not laid off because they were the “low performers” but simply because their ENTIRE department got cut. But jobs are a little like boyfriends/girlfriends - if s/he’s such a great catch, why is s/he still single?

Just a data point, I had a friend recommended me for a job and they said that they only hired people that were unemployed as a last resort. Pretty messed up.

I have to agree with another poster. I think people who’ve made assisted living a lifestyle ruined it for those who are just down on their luck. I don’t understand how employers would know you’re welfare/unemployment, though. You’d have to be a candidate for the job, because in all of my experiences, they don’t run background checks until the second/third interview. So, even then. Unless, people are telling possible employers these things on interviews.

If people are working 66 to 68 hours per week it seems natural to me that a lot of them are going to burn out after a while. But I guess as long as there’s enough new people to hire every couple of months then I guess it’s worth it to management to keep the high number of hours.

But as for not wanting to hire unemployed people, I’m not sure how to ask this question, but I’ll try.

For a lot of people the unemployment rate is a problem. Especially for us that are unemployed. And it seems to be a big political issue, at least to some extent. But if managers don’t want to hire the unemployed, does that mean that they don’t see it as a problem? I guess what I’m trying to say is that it seems to me if we want to get the unemployment rate down, companies should simply hire unemployed people. Yet they mostly seem to be hiring people who have jobs. So does this mean that either they don’t think there is a problem, or that the problem doesn’t effect them, so they really don’t care? Is the unemployment problem, only a problem to those of us who aren’t in management?

When applying for jobs on-line, sometimes they ask if you’re on assistance, and if so, then what kind and who in the household is receiving it, etc.

Wow, I’ve never seen that online. :frowning:

This thread reminds me of the saying of never look for a job while unemployed. Basically, never leave a job until you have another lined up. So, basically, you have to have a job to be hired for one. :rolleyes:

I have never seen that on line. If I did, I think my head would explode.

Yes. It is one of the deep political ideological divides of American politics. Members of one of our political parties tend to strongly agree with statements like “the poor are poor because they don’t work hard enough,” “anyone can succeed if they have good work ethics,” “unemployment affects primarily the lazy,” and “successful people are successful primarily because they are hard workers.” Members of the other major party tend to associate success and failure much more with chance, inherent inequality, social pressures, and the fragility of success for the poor in the face of accidents or bad health.

This is deeply ingrained in the notion of fairness, and particularly in whether assistance programs for the unemployed are “humane” or “socialist,” and seem to transcend the actual conditions. Social identity is so strongly associated with these positions that the actual state of the economy doesn’t seem to matter much.

I’m guessing then that you’re not applying for places like Best Buy or Office Depot then, because stores are the most likely businesses to ask for some reason.

I thought that in another thread here, it was stated that places like that get government incentives to hire a certain percent of people who were on assistance, and that’s why the question was asked. Was that debunked?

There seemed to be two answers. One was that employers could get tax breaks for hiring those on assistance. The other was that employers would avoid hiring those on assistance. But there was one poster who posted cites for tax breaks:

So I guess that’s true.

The real problem is not unemployment but underemployment. For the last three years I have worked temp jobs. I think I only had three weeks in the last three years I got 40 hours from one of the temp jobs.

I’ve seen my temp job wages fall from $18/hr to now minimum wage. All my temp jobs in 2010 were at minimum wage. The average hours worked was about 24 hours a week.

Even trying to get two jobs is tough as my temp jobs don’t till the end. So if I have to wait till Saturday to get my schedule for Sun-Sat of the coming, it’s hard to line up two part time jobs.

It amazes me how the situation has changed from the late 90s / early 00s’ when employees were in demand and could write their own ticket

We just interviewed someone who is now unemployed. Her whole group got laid off by her company, and there were no negative reactions. Back 25 years ago it was different, but so many hiring managers have gone through at least one layoff now (or had to lay off good people) that it doesn’t seem to be a problem. However, it is still true that it is easier to get a job if you have one.

I have no idea about those on welfare - these jobs are unlikely to be a match for them, but we don’t ask any questions, that I know of, so I don’t think it is an issue.

Yes, actually I HAVE been applying to such place and still have not seen such things. Is this a recent change, like in the last 3 months or something? Or somehow regional?

It’s a case where I’d lie and say no even if I was on assistance. I’d take the chance of getting caught (how would they do that, anyway?) for the chance of getting a permanent job.

As it happens, I’m not UNemployd, I’m UNDERemployed, so I can show some work over the past three years.

Same in my job. All of the candidates we have interviewed for an open position have been unemployed for a while. Not a problem, although we do ask what they have been doing in terms of professional development in that time, and look for answers that show some motivation and initiative.

In fact, our current manager had been laid off and unemployed for over a year prior to joining our organization.

We do get burnt out after awhile. The new hires coming through the door are told what the hours are going to be before they start. We run a training class for 3 days before they even hit the floor. If we have 5 people in class you can almost guarantee at least 2 will not make it the 3 days. They simply don’t show back up. A lot of this IMO has to do with work ethic. Some just out of high school that never had to work, and others that say they have been out of work for awhile and their benefits are about to run out. We don’t ask about benefits at interviews. There is only so much what you can ask due to laws. But you would be amazed what people will tell you when sitting face to face with each other. There are ways to get people to give up information without even saying a word.

My answer to your question is no. Where I work we will hire as long as the drug screen, aptitude test, and background check is passed. Let me ask this question… Say you owned a business and you had 20 applicants for one job opening. Which person would you pick for the job? Would you pick a person cause they are unemployed or would you pick the best qualified person for the job?

What kind of work were you doing for $18.00 an hour as a temp?