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long term unemployed

BY SAM HANANEL, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — After two years on the unemployment rolls, Selena Forte thought she’d found a temporary job at a delivery company that matched her qualifications.

But Forte, a 55-year-old from Cleveland, said a recruiter for an employment agency told her that she would not be considered for the job because she had been out of work too long. She had lost her job driving a bus.

“They didn’t even want to hear about my experience,” Forte said. “It didn’t make sense. You’re always told, ‘Just go out there and get a job.”

Forte, scraping by as a part-time substitute school bus driver, is part of a growing number of unemployed or underemployed Americans who complain they are being screened out of job openings for the very reason they’re looking for work in the first place. Some companies and job agencies prefer applicants who already have jobs or haven’t been jobless too long.

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