- McClatchy -
employers government agencies have resumed slowly hiring this year, a disturbing trend pulls in the opposite direction, as the number of Americans who've been jobless for half a year or more continues to reach new records.
Throughout last year, when unemployment averaged 9.3 percent, the long-term jobless averaged 31.5 percent as a percentage of all unemployed.
"The situation remains very dire in the labor market," said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist with the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research center that closely tracks employment data.
The previous modern worst showing for long-term unemployment was in 1983, when, coming out of what was then the worst recession since the Great Depression, 23.7 percent of the jobless were long-term unemployed. After the 1991 recession, the long-term unemployed in 1992 were 20.2 percent of the jobless.
As bad as 2009 was, better data skewed the 31.5 percent number early in the year. By December, the long-term unemployed were 39.8 percent of the jobless. That share crept up month by month to 46 percent in May, meaning that almost one in two Americans who’ve lost jobs have now been unemployed for longer than 26 weeks.
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