There are nearly 16 million people out of work. According to new stats from the labor department, job seekers now outnumber openings by more than six to one — the greatest discrepancy since tracking of job openings began.
With millions unemployed and scarce jobs available those still actively looking for work have to be certain there are no skeletons lying in their respective closets. Thus, more people are opting to legally clear their criminal records.
The Wall Street Journal reports that after years of civil rights organizations complaining about how young black men are disproportionally screwed over when employers ask about arrests and prior convictions, a growing number of middle-class and blue-collar applicants are facing the same issues as they seek new jobs.
So of course now that some of our paler and privileged brethren are experiencing these problems suddenly it’s news worth reporting over.
Via the Journal:
"This is affecting a whole new group," says Michael Hornung, a defense attorney in Fort Myers, Fla., who charges $1,000 to help clients clear records. "I've had more people come in to talk to me about having their records expunged in the last year than I have had in the previous 13 combined."
The increase comes as unemployment has risen above 10%, allowing potential employers to be choosier than they have been in decades. More Americans have criminal records now, criminologists say, in part because a generation has come of age since the start of the war on drugs.
My sarcasm aside, this does pose a problem given that it’s both easier and cheaper for companies to perform extensive background checks.
So if you have bad credit, a DUI, acted a fool one crazy night in college, or some other criminal lapse in judgment there’s a slight chance something may come back to haunt you. That is, if you lie about it on the application.
Has anyone out there recently contacted a lawyer to serve as a cleanup crew for your background in search for work? I’d love to hear from you.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.