A Year or More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment

Update: May 2012

Quick Summary

Approximately 29.5 percent of the nearly 13.3 million Americans who were unemployed had been jobless for a year or more, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That percentage translates into more than 3.9 million people – slightly more than the population of Oregon.

The challenge of long-term unemployment has persisted, even as the overall unemployment rate has improved somewhat. This addendum follows the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative's April 2010 report, "A Year or More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment", which examined the extent of the country's long-term unemployment problem and its impact on the nation's fiscal condition. The report defined “long-term unemployment” as a jobless period of a year or longer.

Media Contact

Jeremy Ratner

Director, Communications