A Long Road Back to Work: The Realities of Unemployment since the Great Recession (2011)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, long-term unemployment -- defined as a period of unemployment lasting 27 weeks (6 months) or longer – reached unprecedented levels.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), when the recession began in December 2007, only 17.5 percent of unemployed workers had been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.  By May 2010, this number peaked at 46 percent, and remained near 40 percent for the next several years. This report explores the demographic composition of the long-term unemployed and addresses their access to and utilization of unemployment compensation benefits, prospects for re-employment, and how re-employment opportunities compare to the jobs they held previously.  The report concludes with policy recommendations for addressing the challenges of long-term unemployment.

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