The Trend in Long-Term Unemployment and Characteristics of Workers Unemployed for Two Years or More

Source: Gerald Mayer, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, March 24, 2014

… Long-term unemployment rates and the number of long-term unemployed have fallen since peaking after the official end of the 2007-2009 recession. Monthly layoffs and discharges have fallen below their pre-recession levels. The number of jobs has increased since the end of the recession. But, the number of job openings is still below the monthly levels before the recession. The increase in the number of jobs and drop in the number of layoffs and discharges since the end of the recession may contribute to a reduction in the number of long-term unemployed. On the other hand, the slower growth in job openings may slow the hiring of the long-term unemployed. After a recession, as employers hire new workers, those who have been unemployed the longest may be among the last to be hired.
An issue for Congress is whether to reauthorize the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, which expired at the end of 2013. Another issue may be whether to enact policies that could increase the demand for workers and, therefore, reduce the number of longterm unemployed. Other issues may include whether to adopt policies that may provide greater incentives for employers to hire the long-term employed, create incentives for the long-term unemployed to accept new employment, or ensure that the long-term unemployed have the skills that employers need. …
Long-Term Unemployment Remains High Despite Decline in the Past Few Years
Source: William Carrington, Congressional Budget Office, March 13, 2014