Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Unemployment Insurance Extensions Haven't Expired With Long-Term Unemployment So High

Following the last post (see here and here), it is worth pointing out that over the course of preceding recessions since 1957, Congress has not let long term unemployment insurance to cease with sustained high unemployment. 

By Heidi Shierholz
Four and a half years after the official end of the Great Recession, there is still a gap in the labor market of nearly 8 million jobs. With job opportunities so weak for so long, workers have gotten stuck in unemployment for unprecedented lengths of time. The share of the workforce that is long-term unemployed is nearly twice as high today as it was in any other period when Congress allowed an extended benefits program to expire. The figure shows the share of the labor force that has been unemployed for more than six months. In the Great Recession, that share rose to more than two-thirds higher than the previous record set during the downturn of the early 1980s. It has since come down significantly, but it is still above the previous record. Today’s long-term unemployment crisis is no mystery; it is exactly what we would expect given how long our labor market has been as weak as it has. It is not the fault of individual unemployed workers failing to exert enough effort or flexibility in their job search.
Read rest here

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