April 30, 2013

The Truth About Long-Term Unemployment

Keith Hall

Former Senior Research Fellow
Summary

This has been a historically slow economic recovery, and one of the results has been the persistent and unprecedented number of long-term unemployed. As bad as the official data appears, it actually underestimates the problem.

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This has been a historically slow economic recovery, and one of the results has been the persistent and unprecedented number of long-term unemployed. As bad as the official data appears, it actually underestimates the problem.

There are almost certainly millions of people that are long-term jobless that are not considered unemployed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although other factors may have contributed to this, the main cause is slow economic growth. So at this point in time, the question that we should be asking is not: What should the government do to help the labor market perform better? We should be asking: What can we do to encourage stronger private sector growth?

There are currently 4.6 million long-term unemployed in the Unites States. Two-thirds of these people have been jobless for over a year and might be classified as "very long-term unemployed."

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