As if finding work weren't hard enough already, a federal agency warns that some employers are excluding jobless workers from consideration for openings.
The practice has surfaced in electronic and print postings with language such as "unemployed applicants will not be considered" or "must be currently employed." Some ads use time thresholds to exclude applicants who've been unemployed longer than six months or a year.
Evidence of the practice has been mostly anecdotal, and information about how widespread it may be is sketchy.
But with unemployment at 9 percent and millions of people struggling to find jobs, the practice has caught the attention of regulators, lawmakers and advocates for the unemployed.
"At a moment when we all should be doing whatever we can to open up job opportunities to the unemployed, it is profoundly disturbing that the trend of deliberately excluding the jobless from work opportunities is on the rise," said Christine Owens, the executive director of the National Employment Law Project.
Expect more and more companies to do this until somebody takes it to court. It's a lot easier to strip minorities, women, people with kids and older Americans from the applicant pool by saying "unemployed need not apply" and leave the folks who will work 70 hours a week on a flat salary without complaining. But hey, after years of stripping unions and collective bargaining from the workplace, this is what you get.