A Closer Look

US – Misconceptions about long-term unemployment

Misconception: The problem isn’t really that bad

At the time of writing, there were 3.2 million long-term unemployed in the U.S. accounting for 32.9 percent of the labor force. We mentioned earlier that this was historically high — even higher than peaks recorded following earlier economic crises — but the graph above should illustrate how high the current level of long-term unemployment actually is. The current levels of long-term unemployment, as well as the current mean duration of unemployment, are unprecedented. Over the past five years, more people have been unemployed for longer than at any other point in the past half century. Not since the Great Depression has chronic joblessness been such a severe problem in the U.S.

The damage associated with this joblessness is enormous. According to the Urban Institute, “Being out of work for six months or more is associated with lower well-being among the long-term unemployed, their families, and their communities. Each week out of work means more lost income. The long-term unemployed also tend to earn less once they find new jobs. They tend to be in poorer health and have children with worse academic performance than similar workers who avoided unemployment. Communities with a higher share of long-term unemployed workers also tend to have higher rates of crime and violence.” This is a recipe for an economic death spiral.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 3 Common Misconceptions About Long-Term Unemployment – Part 2.

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US Long-Term Unemployment / Why so many people have been out of work for so long

Democrats generally point to the anemic recovery, in which weak demand for goods and services results in less hiring. The cyclical nature of unemployment, they say, can be addressed with more government stimulus. Republicans tend to focus more on structural problems, in which the education and experience levels of the unemployed don’t match what employers … Continue reading 

US – Long-term unemployment might be falling for the good reason

in the past six months, unemployment has fallen much faster than expected, from 6.7 to 6.1 percent. And as you can see above, 88 percent of that has been due to declining long-term unemployment. Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The long-term unemployed might finally be getting jobs – The Washington Post. … Continue reading 

Long-Term Unemployment in US – The case of women and families

Long-term unemployment is a continuing crisis for both men and women, and their families. However, women’s typically lower earnings when they are employed and their far greater likelihood of being single parents makes them and their children more economically vulnerable when both income from work and modest unemployment insurance benefits are lost. For that reason, … Continue reading 

Long-term unemployment in US – Geography could be one reason

New research that examined joblessness in the early 2000s provides evidence that some of the problem might also be geography. A paper written by government and academic experts suggests that living near where the jobs are significantly reduces the amount of time it takes unemployed jobseekers to find work. The research found that to be especially true … Continue reading 

US – Long-Term Unemployment is elevated across all education, age, occupation, industry, gender, and racial and ethnic groups

Long-term unemployment is elevated for workers at every education level. The table below provides additional breakdowns of long-term unemployment by age, gender, race/ethnicity, occupation, and industry. For each category, the table shows the long-term unemployment rate in 2007, the long-term unemployment rate in 2013, and ratio of the two. It demonstrates that while there is … Continue reading 

Long-term unemployment in US since 1950 – A chart

This FRED graph divides unemployed (civilian) workers according to the duration of their unemployment spell. The number of those unemployed for 27 weeks or more is still very high, while the other categories have recovered to normal levels. This level of persistently elevated unemployment is different from that during previous recessions, and there may even … Continue reading 

Long-Term Unemployed in US – Only 11 percent have returned to steady, full-time employment a year later

In “Are the Long-Term Unemployed on the Margins of the Labor Market?” Alan B. Krueger, Judd Cramer,   and David Cho of Princeton University find that even after finding another job, reemployment does not fully reset the clock for the long-term unemployed, who are frequently jobless again soon after they gain reemployment: only 11 percent … Continue reading 

Long-Term Unemployment in US – CBO on its causes, effects, and policy options

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