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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.


Suggested Citation
Kosanovich, K., & Theodossiou Sherman, E. (2015). Trends In long-term unemployment. Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics.