Looking for Work? Better Have a Job Already

Another hurdle for job-seekers as unemployment nears 10%
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2009 2:30 PM CDT
Job seekers search on line for jobs at a training center in downtown Portland, Ore., June 19, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Finding a job when unemployment is at 9.4% is hard enough. But the recently laid-off have another hurdle to contend with: Many employers are most interested in attracting candidates who are still working, the Wall Street Journal reports. “If they’re employed in today’s economy, they have to be first string,” says a partner at an executive recruiting firm.

Employers and recruiters figure that such “passive candidates” are the top performers in their field. It’s also easier to match a candidate’s skills to a position when they are already working a job with similar responsibilities. But there’s still hope for the unemployed, especially if job loss resulted from the elimination of a department, rather than a selective layoff. (Read more unemployment stories.)