Unemployment Stigma? Majority of Unemployed Believe It Exists

LinkedIn says its survey found most people too embarrassed to ask for help

NBC Universal, Inc.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left millions of Americans without jobs. According to a new survey from LinkedIn, 46% of unemployed people have lied about being out of work. 

LinkedIn surveyed 2,000 people recently unemployed, 2,000 working professionals, and 1,000+ hiring managers.

Eighty-four percent said they believe there’s a stigma associated with unemployment, 67 percent believe this stigma is affecting their ability to get hired.

LinkedIn says it’s not stigma hurting job seekers; it’s their perception of it.

“We talked to hiring managers and 96 percent of them would hire a candidate that was laid off during COVID-19, so it certainly is something that right now … people want to help each other,” said Blaire Heitmann, LinkedIn Career Expert.


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Twenty-seven percent of those who are unemployed have not asked anyone they know for help with their job search. They say they are embarrassed or think people aren’t willing to help.

Here are tips to help your job search:

  • Use the “Open to Work” tool on LinkedIn so your network knows you’re looking for new opportunities
  • Learn a new skill or improve on those you already have so hiring managers know you are motivated
  • Ask friends and family to reach out to their networks on your behalf
  • Use social media and professional networking sites to let everyone know you’re out of work so they can flag you if something comes up
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