Approximately 1 in 25 persons who were in the labor force in October 2010 had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.
Workers who were long-term unemployed (27 weeks or more) accounted for 4.4 percent of the labor force in May and June 2010, a high for this series; the previous high was 2.6 percent, in 1983.
The recession that began in December 2007 led to the highest unemployment rates in almost three decades, along with record-breaking rates of long-term unemployment. Almost 3 years after the onset of the recession, the unemployment rate remains high, at 9.6 percent, with the long-term unemployed accounting for 41.8 percent of the unemployed.
These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see "The composition of the unemployed and long-term unemployed in tough labor markets" (PDF) in the October issue of Monthly Labor Review. The labor force includes all persons classified as employed or unemployed.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Long-term unemployment rate remains high in 2010 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20101117.htm (visited September 21, 2023).