Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Both the number and share of the unemployed who are long-term unemployed typically continue to increase after a recession ends, before falling during a labor market recovery. Following this cyclical pattern, long-term unemployment has fallen in recent years, although it remains high by historical standards. Five years after the Great Recession ended, the number of long-term unemployed still made up a larger share of unemployment than during any previous recession.
This Spotlight on Statistics examines trends in long-term unemployment and the characteristics of people who have experienced it.