More than 3 Million Americans Unemployed for More Than a Year…Highest Rate Since World War II

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Nearly a quarter of all Americans unemployed have been without a job for a year or longer, according to a new study by the Pew Economic Policy Group, which noted the rate was the highest since World War II. In its report (A Year or More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment), the Pew group determined the country’s lingering unemployment has affected “nearly every industry and occupation” along with “people of all ages and educational backgrounds.”

Those without work for more than 12 months represent 23% of the unemployed population, or 3.4 million Americans. That’s larger than the population of Iowa or Mississippi.
Prolonged unemployment is proving to be a serious drain on the federal budget. Government spending on unemployment insurance has increased five-fold from $33 billion in FY 2005 to an estimated $168 billion in FY 2010.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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