USA Today: Ex-Offenders Struggle to Find Jobs in Pandemic

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Ex-Felons Face Difficulty Finding Jobs in Pandemic

This is all-too familiar to millions of Americans: an already tough jobs market is even worse when you have a criminal record. We’re working hard to change that. Please check our jobs page for dozens of background-friendly opportunities. New openings are posted frequently!

‘You just want to… have a chance’: Ex-offenders struggle to find jobs amid COVID-19

Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

Almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States has a criminal record, and finding a job when you have a past arrest or conviction has never been easy. But it’s become even more difficult in the midst of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 health crisis that has left millions of Americans unemployed and significantly increased the competition for jobs, public policy experts say.

“Because of COVID-19… everybody is having a harder time, and that would be exacerbated for people who are being released from prison,” says Kristen Broady, policy director for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, which focuses on economic policy.

Low-wage positions, a lifeline for those with limited prospects, are in high demand and short supply. Restaurants and other industries that offer lower-paying jobs have struggled amid shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. And with a national unemployment rate of 6.7%, employers who have their pick of applicants may be less inclined to hire someone with a record, Broady and others say.

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