Long-Term Unemployment at Post-WWII High

As Barry Ritholtz pointed out Friday:

Long-term unemployed (jobless for 27 weeks+) increased by 414,000 to 6.5 million.

Yesterday, the Pew Charitable Trusts released a report noting that long-term unemployment is the worst it has been since the end of World War II. As summarized by Shahien Nasiripour:

More than three million Americans have been out of work for at least a year, according to a new analysis of unemployment data.

That represents 23 percent of the roughly 14.8 million Americans out of work and looking for a job — a post-World War II high. For those 3.4 million Americans, the consequences from such a long time out of work — a cost of the Great Recession — can be calamitous.

“[T]he likelihood of finding a job declines as the length of unemployment increases,” notes the team led by Ingrid Schroeder, director of the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative, a program of the Pew Economic Policy Group and the Pew Charitable Trusts. “People who are unemployed for a long time can lose their job skills. A long unemployment spell can mark them as undesirable, making it more difficult to compete against other job candidates. [Federal] data suggests that workers who are jobless for the longest duration incur the largest reductions in weekly earnings upon returning to work.”

The situation will not improve until the underlying causes are addressed.

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