March 13, 2000
About half of unemployed managerial and professional specialty workers had been jobless 7.1 weeks or more at the time of the monthly unemployment surveys in 1999. The median unemployed operator, fabricator, or laborer had been unemployed for 7.0 weeks.
At the other end of the chart, technical, sales, and administrative support workers and workers in service occupations each had a median duration of unemployment of 5.9 weeks in 1999.
The lower duration of unemployment among technical, sales, administrative and service workers reflected declines of roughly half a week from those recorded in 1998. None of the other occupational groups reported a significant change in duration of unemployment.
These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. Duration of unemployment represents the length of time, through the current reference week, that unemployed persons had been looking for work. Median duration is the midpoint of the distribution of weeks of unemployment. For more annual average data on unemployment duration and occupation, see the Table 32 of the January 2000 issue of Employment and Earnings. You can access additional pre-formatted tables from Employment and Earnings through the Current Labor Statistics button on the Monthly Labor Review homepage.