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24% of the unemployed have been unemployed for more than a year



Due to the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rosslyn Inn was permanently closed in Arlington, Virginia on February 5, 2021.

Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

‘thrilling’

According to the bureau’s data, these long-term unemployed collectively accounted for 24% of the total number of 9.9 million unemployed workers last month. (The data is not seasonally adjusted.)

Heidi Shierholz, policy director of the Economic Policy Institute and former chief economist of the Ministry of Labor, said: “I think this number is breathtaking. Nearly a quarter of the unemployed have been unemployed for a year. the above.”

; .

She added: “This does show that even if the economy is recovering, you have a lot of people unemployed in the whole damn thing.”

One year after officials began to issue a ban to contain the coronavirus and millions of Americans began to apply for unemployment benefits, statistics showed unemployment for the first time.

And this number may be underestimated because the department does not consider certain workers, such as those who leave the workforce due to pandemic health risks or childcare duties. And the share may rise next month, because the current figures only provide a snapshot in the middle of the previous month, which is not consistent with the large number of unemployment applications from late March to April 2020.

The bureau did not break down these long-term unemployed numbers by industry.

Shierholz said, but in the hardest hit industries (such as leisure and hospitality), there may be too many workers in this group. More than 3 million jobs in this sector have not yet returned, accounting for more than one-third of the total.

Long-term unemployment

Throughout the health crisis, the long-term unemployment rate has been rising steadily and is approaching the peak of the Great Depression.

Economists believe that workers must be out of work for at least six months to be unemployed for a long time.

From a financial point of view, this is a particularly dangerous time for families. Finding new jobs becomes more difficult, workers’ long-term income potential is scarce, and if they find their own jobs, the likelihood of unemployment will increase.

The federal government has stepped in to provide income support by extending and increasing weekly unemployment benefits. US President Joe Biden signed a US$1.9 trillion US rescue plan last month to extend the assistance period to Labor Day and provide a weekly state grant of US$300.

Your unemployment rate has fallen, while the long-term unemployment rate has risen.

Heidi Shierholz

Policy Director, Economic Policy Research Institute

However, despite the broader eligibility criteria during the pandemic, not all workers are eligible for assistance.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday that more than 4 million Americans were unemployed for six months or more in March, accounting for 43.4% of all unemployed.

This is almost a record high of 45.5% after the Great Depression.

Even if the unemployment rate in the United States fell to 6% in March, this proportion is still growing. The United States got 916,000 jobs, the most since the summer.

Shierholz said that during a recession, the unemployment rate and the long-term unemployment rate usually fluctuate together.

She said: “This is not what happened here.” “Now, they are heading in the completely opposite direction-the unemployment rate has fallen, and the long-term unemployment rate has risen.”

The number of Americans who have been unemployed for at least a year is still half of the peak period after the Great Depression.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April 2010, at least 4.6 million people were unemployed for at least 52 weeks. It took another 20 months for this number to fall below the 4 million mark.

However, given the speed of vaccination and the trend of economic recovery, long-term unemployment may not continue to this extent.


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