Each month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports employment figures for the United States. These figures have served as a barometer of the country’s relative economic strength for the last seventy years and recently have highlighted unemployment’s rise throughout the Great Recession. Often overlooked, however, are figures related to the so-called “long-term” unemployed, those unemployed for longer than twenty-six weeks, roughly six months.
While the unemployment rate has slowly receded after a peak of about 10 percent during the Great Recession between december 2007 and June 2009, the long-term unemployment rate remains staggeringly high at more than a third (39 percent) of all unemployed. This is cause for concern given that workers in most states are eligible for a maximum twenty-six weeks of basic unemployment insurance, and the federal extension of unemployment benefits that would have provided, at most, thirty-eight weeks of benefits expired on January 1 of this year. Given the significant numbers of individuals involved, the long-term unemployed are an important group to monitor.
But what are the characteristics of the long-term unemployed? And how do these characteristics vary across place? We know surprisingly little about these questions.5 Using the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) of the Current Population Survey (CPS), this brief outlines the demographic and economic characteristics of the long-term unem- ployed and compares them with their short-term unemployed counterparts.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at
- US / The Unemployment Problem is a long-term unemployment problem
- US / Why African-American unemployment is double that of Whites
- US / The share of unemployed receiving jobless aid will drop to its lowest level
- US Unemployment Rate / What if those who have left the labor force since the start of the Great Recession are counted ?
- Unemployed Older Workers in US / One’s past hard work and successes can become the very thing that keeps one from finding a new job