November 2011 Update: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment

November 2011 Update: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment

In the third quarter of 2011 (the three month period from July to September), approximately 31.8 percent of the nearly 14 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 4.4 million people, nearly the population of Louisiana.

The challenge of long-term unemployment has persisted over the last year, even as the overall unemployment rate has improved somewhat. A Year or More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment, a report released by the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative in April 2010, found that in December 2009, 23 percent of the 14.7 million unemployed had been out of work for a year or longer. This addendum to the 2010 report looks atlong-term unemployment using statistics from the third quarter of 2011.

See the most recent figures from Long-Term Unemployment, Five Ways to Look at It [PDF].

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.