Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Decline in lengthy periods of unemployment in 2004

April 25, 2005

The number of persons unemployed for 15 or more weeks fell by about 400,000 between the fourth quarter of 2003 and the fourth quarter of 2004, to a level of 3.0 million.

Number of persons unemployed 15 or more weeks, in thousands, seasonally adjusted, fourth quarter 2001-04
[Chart data—TXT]

About 60 percent of this decline was among persons unemployed 27 or more weeks—the long-term unemployed. The percentage of the jobless who were unemployed 27 weeks or more, 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004, was down from the fourth quarter of 2003, but was still higher than the lows seen during the last recovery.

The average (mean) duration of unemployment was little changed in 2004, and the median number of weeks unemployed was down to 9.6 weeks from 10.4 weeks a year earlier.

Data on duration of unemployment are from the Current Population Survey. Find more information on duration of unemployment in "Household survey indicators show some improvement in 2004," by Teresa L. Morisi, Monthly Labor Review, March 2005.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Decline in lengthy periods of unemployment in 2004 at (visited February 27, 2024).

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics