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Do you agree that being out of work for a long period of time decreases a person's...

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sj83 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:17 AM via web

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Do you agree that being out of work for a long period of time decreases a person's chances of finding employment? Why or why not?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 6, 2013 at 3:34 AM (Answer #1)

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It appears that we cannot dispute the idea that people who are unemployed for a long period of time have a very hard time finding another job.  This is something that is borne out by statistics and so it is not really a matter of opinion.  This is not a matter that you can agree with or disagree with on the basis of personal opinion.  Instead, it is a fact that people who have been unemployed for long periods of time have a harder time getting jobs.  There are at least two major reasons for this.

First, does being unemployed for a long time really cause a person to have a harder time finding a job or are the two both caused by something else?  It is possible that the people who end up unemployed for a long period of time are people who are less desirable employees.  The reason they do not find new jobs is not that they have been unemployed too long, it is that they are not desirable employees in the first place.  This is surely part of the problem.

Second, assuming that being unemployed for a long time does help cause difficulties in finding a new job, why is that so?  There are two possible reasons.  One is that employers are simply prejudiced against people who have been out of work.  They think that anyone who was a good worker would have found a job more easily.  Thus, being unemployed for a long time makes a person look bad.  The second reason is that people’s skills might erode as they are out of work.  They may not be as sharp or as up-to-date on the skills needed for jobs that are available.

Thus, there are a variety of reasons why being unemployed for a long time makes it even harder to ever get a new job. 

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