Long-term unemployment in December 2009

January 14, 2010

Among the unemployed, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) continued to trend up, reaching 6.1 million in December 2009. Four in ten unemployed workers were jobless for 27 weeks or longer.

Percent distribution of unemployed persons by duration of unemployment, December 2008 and December 2009
[Chart data]

In December, both the number of unemployed persons, at 15.3 million, and the unemployment rate, at 10.0 percent, were unchanged. Both have doubled the past two years: at the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons was 7.7 million, and the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent.

Unemployment rates for major worker groups—adult men (10.2 percent), adult women (8.2 percent), teenagers (27.1 percent), whites (9.0 percent), blacks (16.2 percent) and Hispanics (12.9 percent)—showed little change in December.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "The Employment Situation — December 2009" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL 09-1583.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Long-term unemployment in December 2009 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20100114.htm (visited September 24, 2017).


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