Long-term unemployment affects the way employers view job applicants

August 9, 2013

The longer a person is unemployed, the lower his or her chances of landing a job become, according to an upcoming paper by Swedish economists Stefan Eriksson and Dan-Olof Rooth. The economists used Swedish data on calls returned to job applicants, sorting job seekers by duration of unemployment. The data showed that being unemployed for a short period of time made no difference at all to job seekers’ prospects, but that being unemployed for longer did. However, the marked decline in the number of returned calls was only seen for those applying for jobs that did not require a PSE degree -- at 20% fewer calls. Those applying for jobs that do require higher education did not see the same decline in response. The Globe and Mail points out that Canada has not seen the same rate of long-term unemployment as has the US. According to Statistics Canada, as of June, 2013, the average duration of unemployment in Canada was 18.3 weeks. In contrast, the average duration of unemployment in the US was 35.6 weeks. Globe and Mail