As Congress considers whether to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed, The Hamilton Project offers an examination of trends in unemployment duration in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Historically, the longer you are unemployed, the harder it is to find a job. However, the situation facing today’s workers is unprecedented. Between 2004 and 2007, when the typical person lost his job, he or she could expect to be out of work for roughly two and a half months before finding new employment. In May 1983, six months after the end of the 1982 recession, the length of unemployment in the United States peaked at about 12 weeks, or less than three months. Today, over two years after the official end of the recession, the typical unemployed American has been out of work for nearly twice as long as the unemployed worker in the early 1980s—an average of 22 weeks, or about five months. Read the full piece here.
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