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Unemployment persists longer than ever

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SoldAtTheTop / The Paper Economy

(Read caption) This chart shows the number of Americans who have received unemployment benefits for 27 weeks or more, from January, 1979 to the present. The graph shows the double-dip recession of the early 1980s, generally considered by economists to be the worst period of unemployment since the Great Depression, compared to today's persistent joblessness.

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

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Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more increase to 6.206 million or 41.8% of all unemployed workers while the median number of weeks unemployed increased to 21.20 weeks and the average stay on unemployment increased to 33.9 weeks.

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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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