Probably. This is a well documented thing. Some reading for anyone looking for background info on this:
There are three issues with the long term unemployed:
- A lot of hiring is just looking at who else thought you were good.
Imagine that you saw 10 people pick up a loaf of bread at the grocery store, look at it, and put it back down. Would you buy that loaf of bread or assume that something is wrong with it? Probably not. It is a phenomenon called rational herding.
How does this impact the employment market? Employers assume that if you have been unemployed for a long time that other employers have rejected you. They assume they rejected you for a reason and based on that also reject you.
If you are long term unemployed, it is assumed that many other employers have already rejected you. If they rejected you, you must not be that great. People are just following the "wisdom" of the crowd. After a certain period, it is assumed that the crowd has judged you to not be that productive.
- In America (I am assuming American based on the article), a major reason for a gap in employment is having been to prison.
The number of Americans with criminal records is the same as the number with university educations. One in 12 are felons. About 1 in 20 have spent time in jail. Criminals are overwhelmingly male, so about 9% of men have spent time in jail.
Companies don't want these people, but the process of finding out whether someone is a criminal costs money. It is also quite probable that there will be people with criminal records in your pile of applicants.
What is a easy trick to weed out the worst ones? Assume that a gap consists of prison time.
- Skills decline quickly, or at least appear to do so.
I suspect that candidates who have been unemployed for a long time underperform in interviews simply because they are not using the skills day to day. I currently work in Java for our backend. When I got the job, it had been over a year since I wrote a Java program. Happily for me, the coding test was on the computer, so Intellij could remind me what the names of common functions were and auto import the appropriate libraries for data structures.
Had that been a whiteboard interview, had they interviewer been standing over my shoulder, or had the IDE not been Intellij I might have failed due to having been out of practice and just stupidly trying combinations of words and letters for basic functions.
Even if they aren't losing the skills, employers assume that they do. Long term unemployed are treated as essentially having no relevant experience (see the article at the top)