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Extended unemployed down for August, but they're unemployed longer

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(Read caption) This chart shows, in thousands, the year over year change the number of Americans who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more since 2000. The number of workers facing long-term unemployment fell in August, but the weeks they were unemployed ticked up.

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Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long term unemployed were mixed in August and remained epically distressed by historic standards.

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Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more declined to 5.033 million or 40.0% of all unemployed workers while the median number of weeks unemployed jumped to 18.0 weeks and the average stay on unemployment climbed to 39.2 weeks.

Looking at the chart below,  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.