Long-Term Unemployment, 1948-2013

In November 2013, over 4 million of the unemployed were considered “long-term unemployed”—someone who has been unemployed for more than 27 weeks.

Over 37 percent of the unemployed fall into this long-term category, which remains relatively close to the record high of 45.3 percent hit in March of 2011. Before the recession began in December 2007, the long-term unemployment rate was 17.4 percent. Although this statistic is still well above historical norms, it is trending down – there are nearly 2.1 million fewer long-term unemployed than there were during the post-recession peak of 6.2 million people.

Source: Author's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab12.htm