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Proof hiring firms are biased against the longtime unemployed

People who are unemployed for long stretches of time have greater difficulty finding work – that much is obvious. But one question has always remained: is it the gap in a candidate’s resume that worries employers, or are they just less “employable” by nature, an issue that helps perpetuate said gap? New evidence suggests that the former argument holds plenty of weight.

In a recent experiment, university researchers submitted 12,000 fake resumes to 3,000 jobs all across the U.S. “Candidates” who were out of work for eight months but who otherwise had similar credentials were contacted with interview requests 45% less often than those who were unemployed for just a month.

Interestingly, the most pronounced differences in callback percentages occurred during the first eight months, meaning an employer’s so-called “prejudice clock” begins soon after an employment gap is created. The tighter the labor market, the more prone companies were to weed out those caught in a lengthy stretches of unemployment. The study didn’t specifically look at banks and financial firms, but you can safely extrapolate the findings across different industries. It’s human nature, it appears.

Current labor market statistics tell the same story. Short-term unemployment rates have fully rebounded to pre-recession levels, but long-term rates are twice what they were in 2007. Take what you want from the numbers, but maybe it’s better to take something quickly – even for the short-term – than to wait out what’s clearly still a sluggish market, particularly in banking.

10 Hints for Fitting Into Goldman (eFinancialCareers)

A new piece of research that looks at Goldman Sachs and its ties to financial regulators inadvertently provides a handy guide into what it takes to carve out a successful career at the bank.

‘Whale’ Unit Merging (NASDAQ)

J.P. Morgan is combining its Chief Investment Office, famous for the $6.2 billion London Whale trading debacle, with its treasury unit. The decision will necessitate several people moves.

Rocky Q1 (WSJ)

Of the six largest U.S. banks, only Wells Fargo is expected to post a year-over-year earnings increase during the Q1. Highlighted by what is sure to be a major dip in trading revenue, the first quarter was a tough one for Wall Street.

Just as Picky as Ever (eFinancialCareers)

Goldman Sachs rejected 96% of applicants for analyst positions last year. And many who were accepted didn’t end up in New York or London. Nearly 40% of the firm’s campus hires wound up in Salt Lake City, Mumbai and Singapore.

HFT Suit (Bloomberg)

With the investigation into high-speed trading underway, the SEC on Friday accused several traders and brokerage firms of “layering,” an HFT technique used to manipulate the true demand for a stock. Five individuals have agreed to pay a combined $3 million in penalties.

Rich But Underpaid (Newsday)

Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan is one of the most underpaid CEOs who heads a major corporation. He made $13.1 million last year, roughly 30% less than what he should have made, according to a new study.

New CFO (European CEO)

Credit Suisse exec Ewen Stevenson has been hired as the new chief financial officer of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Buzz Around the Office

Well This is Embarrassing (WSJ)

If you missed it last week, there was huge verbal brawl on CNBC between Brad Katsuyama, the founder of IEX Group, and BATS president William O’Brien, who made some bold defenses of his exchange, which is said to welcome high-speed trading. Well, it turns out O’Brien stretched the truth a bit. He was forced to correct his misleading statements by none other than the New York Attorney General’s office.

Quote of the Day: “Some of our competitors may elect to deemphasize or exit some FICC businesses, given their particular circumstances. But, we believe this is likely to increase the value that clients place on the services provided by those who remain.” – Goldman Sachs, in a letter to shareholders, explaining that it’s not fleeing fixed income

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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