Trends in Duration of U.S. Unemployment
Duration of Unemployment by Percentage:
5 Weeks and Under, 15 Weeks and Over, 27 Weeks and Over
In June of 1983, the percentage of those unemployed 27 weeks or longer peaked at 26%. That is the only month prior to April of 2009 above the 25% mark.
Starting April of 2009, every month has been above the 25% mark.
Starting July of 2009, every month has been above the 30% mark.
Starting December of 2009, every month has been above the 40% mark.
The trends paint a grim picture. With each recession the duration of unemployment has increased.
Note that prior to 1990, shortly after recessions ended, the percentage of people unemployed 15 weeks and over, and 27 weeks and over dropped quickly.
The last three recessions did not follow that pattern and the recession starting in 2007 is unprecedented in obvious ways.
I believe a major reason the 27 weeks and over percentage is dropping now is people have exhausted all their benefits and have claimed disability or gone on "forced retirement" to collect social security benefits.
Since the global economy has stalled (see Plunging New Orders Suggest Global Recession Has Arrived) and the US is headed for recession if not in recession (see 12 Reasons US Recession Has Arrived Or Will Shortly) there is not much realistic hope of these numbers showing drastic improvement except by more forced retirements or rising disability claims.
For more on disability claims, please see ...