I actually know someone who is hiring. A solid, non-TARP bank has openings for mid-level employees. Good jobs. Great benefits. But they have a problem. Six of the ten candidates who were recruited, interviewed and chosen, flunked the credit check. Getting behind on credit cards during unemployment is keeping them from getting a job.
Talk about a vicious circle. Get a good job at a bank. The bank pays you well then takes some crazy wild-ass risks and, bam. You’re on the street at time when banks are laying off everywhere. Not much of a safety net for the upwardly mobile seeking to max their mortgage and buying into the everything-will-go-up-forever-scam. Watch your house value circle in the toilet and your credit lines dry up. Flush. You are now collateral damage in the war on the middle class.
Running credit checks is legal most everywhere. More than half of employers use them, including the US government. Now that banks have found Jesus and are spinning conservative business decisions, it makes perfect sense to run a credit check on prospective employees. Can’t have anybody hungry or needy at a bank. No sir. Unnecessary risk. Can’t afford it. Their problems might hurt our stock price. Shoot, they might have to take time out to deal with their problems. It makes sense. Only people who don’t need a job should be worth hiring.
On the flip side, of course, is the fact that there is no research that says the incredibly motivated unemployed will actually do harm. It is not like these people committed crimes. They just got laid off. By a bank. At time when the banks caused all the problems.
According to Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times, it takes only $7,500 in past-due debt to keep you from some government jobs. Factor that one-third of all credit reports have inaccuracies, and, well, we might not be able to create all those jobs, Mr. Obama has promised us.
Irony can suck. Reality bites.