"Today’s unusually severe labor shortages seem to be opening up opportunities for former offenders"
Image source: Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times (All Rights Reserved)
According to this Los Angeles Times article, all across the country, as the economy surges and employers struggle to find enough workers, individuals with felony and other criminal records are finding a sliver of a silver lining in the dark cloud of the pandemic.
Journalist Don Lee reports that, in the summer of 2021, U.S. employers reported an unprecedented 10.9 million job openings. That, Lee says, was equal to more than one job for every unemployed person in the country.
In response, a growing number of companies are beginning to tap into a huge, largely ignored labor pool: the roughly 20 million Americans, mostly men and many unemployed, who have felony convictions.
Read more about increased efforts to hire individuals with a criminal record
State leaders discuss recent transformative policies that offer a model for state and federal policymakers to put second chances within reach for workers and families facing the stigma of a criminal record.
As of May 2021, Stateline found a dozen bills introduced across 10 states this year that push for automatic clearing, expungement or sealing of criminal records.
In celebration of Second Chance Month 2021, The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) hosted a one-of-a-kind virtual event to discuss the business case for “second chance” hiring: “A Hire Calling.”
In an August 2021 opinion guest essay in The New York Times, JPMorgan Chase & Company chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon expresses his "moral outrage" for the more than 70 million Americans with an arrest or criminal record that face financial, legal and logistical roadblocks that prevent them from securing good jobs after after they have paid their debt to society.