Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Tuesday January 15th 2019

Survey: unemployed for more than a year there is only 3% chance of a interview call


I read about the unemployment rate now at 2.3% and this is unsettling for folks like me who are in their mid-40s. The thought of going jobless with high family commitment is quite worrisome when you think about the economic conditions that are not going very well of late.

Year-on-year economic growth will only be around 2-3% as compared to the past where we had high levels of growth. So I think that finding a job will not be that easy anymore when you are retrenched for the long term. In this regard, I was just wondering if you have come across an unemployment study by Rand Ghayad?

Ghayad was a PhD candidate in economics at Northeastern University who sent out about 3360 fictitious résumés to 600 job ads and the results were quite unsurprising although I am not sure if people want to readily accept this.

Based on his study, employed people is the most valuable commodity for employers. If you sent your resume to an employer and the skills are a good match, they will call you back 18% of the time. But if you are unemployed for 6-months, then the likelihood drops by almost a quarter.

However if you have been unemployed for more than a year, the chances of getting a call-back drops to a mere 3%! So you have a classic case where a once-upon-a-time high flying and well-educated manager who has otherwise no choice but to end up driving a taxi to feed his family.

Even as employment is ‘low’, you have people who are underemployed rather than unemployed. So basically you have got tons of people with degrees who are selling insurance/ driving Grab and they still don’t quite complaint and voice their resentment since they still have food to eat.

But when it happens to a large number of people over a long time, it is a national problem. If this happens on an individual level, it is enough of a tragedy. But what happens when things are on a larger scale? The psychological harm that unemployment causes is not only to the individual, but his entire family now.

Thanks for speaking up and I hope you will continue to do so! Good job on fighting for our rights because foreign ‘talents’ are still getting reasonably well-paid jobs in areas such as banking and human resources.


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