We not only handled people who have lost their jobs, but also people who are seeking employment. This includes recently released felons who need help finding work. They come out willing and able, participate in job training programs and are diligent work searches, and yet the bulk (approximately 80%) remain frustrated in their efforts. This because many of the biggest employers (banks, fast food chains, companies like Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, etc.) openly declare they will not hire people with criminal records. Beyond this, facing the glut of skilled and unskilled unemployed, H.R. departments use an honest answer about criminal records as one more method used to weed out job applications to a manageable number before beginning the hiring process.
Furthermore, over the last few years since the government declared the “War on Terror,” background check have become extremely easy due to data-mining companies. News agencies haven’t helped because they typically lump people with criminal records into any story concerning threats to the “security of our nation.” I am reminded of one example a couple of years ago where all the major news networks were reporting how unsafe our commercial harbors were due to the fact that a significant portion (30% or so?) of the truckers who made pick-ups and deliveries had criminal records. Needless to say this helped “security” by reducing employment opportunities in trucking for people with criminal records. We haven't even touched on felons who are required to register as sex offenders.
I could go on and on, but the fact remains, easy access to criminal records has proven a nightmare for the majority of felons seeking honest work after release back into our society.