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Could 8 to 9 percent unemployment rates become the norm in the United States? It is a distinct possibility, according to a recent New York Times article titled “Unemployed, And Likely to Stay That Way.”

The article states a fact that anyone who has been a recruiter for very long already knows: the longer someone is unemployed, the harder it is for them to find a job. Even in light of the recent recession, which left many without a job through no fault of their own, many hiring managers and human resource representatives are suspicious of anyone with a large gap in their employment history. In fact, as we reported in a previous blog post this summer, many companies won’t even consider candidates that are not currently employed. So it’s no surprise that, according to the Department of Labor, those who have been out of work for less than five weeks are three times more likely to find a new job within the coming month than those who have been job hunting for over a year.

According to the article, this trend could lead the United States down the path of many European countries that have an “underclass of permanently idle workers.” Many of those countries have simply accepted the fact that the unemployment rate will stay above 8 percent.

If you have great candidates that have just been dealt a bad hand by the recent recession, you can convince your clients to give them a try by suggesting they hire them on a contract-to-hire basis. If the candidate doesn’t work out, the client can simply end the contract, but if they do like the worker, they can extend a direct-hire offer. And if you have candidates who are having trouble securing a permanent position, you may want to persuade them to consider contract offers. Showing employers that they are willing to take temporary work to stay in the workforce will go a long way to helping them land that full-time job and keep them from becoming one of the permanently unemployed!

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