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Unemployment persists: Half of jobless waiting six months

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SoldAtTheTop / The Paper Economist

(Read caption) This look at persistent unemployment over the past decade shows that the number of Americans unemployed six months – 27 weeks – or more remains five times higher than pre-recession levels, and climbed again in November.

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Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed weakened slightly in November while remaining epically distressed by historic standards.

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Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more increased to 6.313 million or 41.9% of all unemployed workers while the median number of weeks unemployed increased to 21.60 weeks and the average stay on unemployment went flat at 33.8 weeks.

Looking at the charts below (click for super interactive versions) you can see that today’s sorry situation far exceeds even the conditions seen during the double-dip recessionary period of the early 1980s, long considered by economists to be the worst period of unemployment since the Great Depression.

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