Please allow me to rain on your parade if you are long-term or short-term unemployed in 2012...employers don't want to hire people who are unemployed.
There's a proposed bill, HB-1134 in Colorado, which would prohibit discrimination against unemployed applicants. But it also explicitly prohibits any ability for the job seeker to seek, and/or be awarded, any civil damages. The only deterrent is a $1,000 fine on an employer for a first offense, with higher penalties for any subsequent offenses.
But as far as I can tell, in my humble opinion, at the very most this law would only force employers to not advertise: "The Unemployed Need Not Apply" -- and maybe force employers to accept your job application.
It would be next to impossible to determine whether or not you weren't called back for an interview, or ultimately never hired, just because you have been unemployed. So therefore, imposing any fine, no matter how much, would be almost fruitless as well.
It's the same way with age discrimination. Employers have many ways to circumvent that civil rights law too, like using "bona fide qualifications" to disqualify job applicants that they might think are too old - - just like they do for cocktail waitresses in Las Vegas casinos. Also, see what they are now proposing with "term limits" on the ones that they do hire.
As for age? Employers will already have your date-of-birth, date you graduated from school, and previous work history. On a job application one has to also agree with their demands, such as working in a smoking environment or being able to lift 50 lbs.
And then there is the criminal background check, your driving record, your credit score, and you tax history that they ask for permission to access before hiring anyone.
And there are also the "third-party" psychological exams that they can use to screen people too -- and you never see the results or are given any reason why you didn't "pass" and were rejected.
And then there's the matter of your full medical history - - did you ever visit a mental health clinic for depression? OOPS! Now you might also have a notation on your job application that says "History of mental illness."
If you ever felt discriminated against for any reason at all (even in "reverse discrimination" cases regarding a company's diversity policies), organizations such as the Nation Labor Relations Board or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does very little to help you unless you have rock solid proof...like a tape recording (which is illegal in many states, unless both parties agree to be recorded).
And even after all this, and if you ever DO get hired, it's very easy for them to build a case against you for termination (even if you have a labor union representing you). And after you DO get fired, try finding a lawyer to represent you for "wrongful termination"...it's almost impossible.
And also expect the company that wrongly fired you to appeal all your efforts to get a single unemployment check. So all-in-all, your best bet would be to go to China and work for less that $1 an hour, because that's where the jobs are.
I'm not making any of this up, I speak from personal experience.