Tags: unemployment rate | workforce | job market | criminal records | donald trump

NYT: In Tight Workforce, Private Sector Companies Making Exceptions

Image: NYT: In Tight Workforce, Private Sector Companies Making Exceptions

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

By    |   Saturday, 13 Jan 2018 05:35 PM

Companies in the private sector have more willingly hired people with criminal records and workers in groups that often face discrimination, including African-Americans and people with disabilities or prolonged bouts of joblessness, in a quickly tightening labor market, The New York Times reports.

The unemployment rate in the U.S. in December was unchanged at 4.1 percent, a 17-year-low, and hiring in the U.S. has risen for 87 consecutive months.

“When the unemployment rate is high, you can afford to not hire anyone who has a criminal record, you can afford to not hire someone who’s been out of work for two years,” Lawrence H. Summers, the Harvard economist and former Treasury secretary, told the Times. “When the unemployment rate is lower, employers will adapt to people rather than asking people to adapt to them.”

Unemployment rates have fallen sharply for people with disabilities or without a high school diploma, according to the Times, and employment rates have grown the most among those who haven’t earned a diploma for people ages 25-54. The participation rate for people ages 25-54 also hit a seven-year high in December.

For African-Americans, the unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent in November, its lowest point on record, a decline President Donald Trump claimed responsibility for last Wednesday.

"I am very proud of this: African-American unemployment reached its lowest level in history. Think of that," Trump said during a Cabinet meeting. "And on the campaign trail, remember, I said, and would constantly say, 'What do you have to lose?' Meaning what do you have to lose if you vote for Trump."

"And now it was just reported African-American unemployment was at its lowest level in history. I am very proud of that,” he added.

In Dane County, Wis., where the unemployment rate is 2 percent, Stoughton Trailers has worked minimum-security inmates from the Wisconsin County Department of Corrections' work-release program. The company recently hired Jordan Forseth, who worked in the factory while serving his prison sentence. 

“It’s a second chance,” Forseth said. “I think we’re proving ourselves out there to be pretty solid workers.”

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Companies in the private sector have more willingly hired people with criminal records and workers in groups that often face discrimination, including African-Americans and people with disabilities or prolonged bouts of joblessness, in a quickly tightening labor market.
unemployment rate, workforce, job market, criminal records, donald trump
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2018-35-13
Saturday, 13 Jan 2018 05:35 PM
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