Friday, December 3, 2010

Lacking Compassion in the Modern World

The U.S. Labor Department announced on Dec. 3rd that the economy added just 39,000 jobs in November, much lower than expected. A jobless recovery might be the new normal and it's not good news for the unemployed. What's even more disturbing and sad are the difficulties the long term unemployed are going through. With all the problems they are dealing with, an article at Huffington Post, titled, "Employers Won't Hire The Jobless Because of the 'Desperate Vibe'", by Laura Bassett states that employers have such a large pool of applicants to choose from, for job openings, that one headhunter suggested that the unemployed are at a disadvantage when applying for a job because they seem desperate. He said, "When you lose your job, you will interview from a position of weakness." Well, perhaps they are desperate and how sad is that. Most people that commented on the article were as disturbed as I was, when I read it.
The headhunter was quoted as saying, "When you show desperation in your face and your tone during an interview, management is going to pick up on that vibe. They're gonna feel it and see it and notice something's off......they're awkward and the other person's gonna be turned off. It's always better for a person to interview while they're employed." He was only interested in interviewing people who already had jobs, "the jobless need not apply."
It seems the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports what he's stating. The sad reality is that the "longer a person has been out of a job, the more unlikely it is that he will get a job."
Employers can "discriminate" freely against the unemployed. The unemployed are the most downtrodden, insecure and "desperate" people in our society right now. They are people who could be on the verge of losing their homes, their medical coverage, who might not have money to buy food or Christmas presents for their families.
I pray someone will have compassion, a Christ-like compassion for these long term unemployed people. They obviously need help. Many American families are hurting.
The Church needs to lend it's voice to this problem and through it's social justice activities and programs try to help, in whatever ways it can. The Church needs to be more vocal in this area, in my opinion.
This Advent, the unemployed need to feel that someone cares, that the Church cares and is willing to take action on their behalf. I hope and pray positive, supportive action will come and soon.