The nation’s economy is coming back and many employers are cautiously staffing up, but they’re not often hiring people who have been out of work for a long time, according to a headhunter firm.
“The longer one is out of work, the more difficult it becomes to achieve job search success. And, unfortunately, this is a situation that has not reversed, despite steady improvement in the overall job market,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The Chicago firm finds workers for employers.
The number of Americans out of work for 27 weeks or longer has declined since reaching a high of 6.7 million in April 2010. As of March, the count stood at 4.6 million, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, much of the decline may be attributed to long-term job seekers abandoning the labor market entirely, and therefore no longer counted among the unemployed. Long-time job seekers still represent nearly 40% of the nation’s 11.7 million unemployed, Challenger said. That is down only slightly from a peak of 45% in April 2010.