January 04, 2011
In 2009, 49 States and the District of Columbia reported the largest shares of their unemployed in the 15-weeks-or-longer category. Florida recorded the highest share among the States, 57.5 percent, followed closely by South Carolina, 57.4 percent, Michigan, 57.3 percent, and North Carolina, 57.2 percent. These States experienced some of the highest annual average unemployment rates in 2009.
In 2007, Michigan had the highest share of its unemployment in the 15-weeks-or-longer category, 42.0 percent, followed by New York and the District of Columbia, 39.3 percent each. Wyoming, at 16.1 percent, reported the lowest proportion of long-term unemployment. Idaho also had a low share of long-term unemployment, 18.8 percent.
Between 2007 and 2008, long-term unemployment among States increased. In 2008, 22 States and the District of Columbia reported the largest percentages of their unemployment in the 15-weeks-or-longer category, up from nine States and the District of Columbia in the previous year. The District of Columbia had the highest share, 43.3 percent, followed by South Carolina, 43.0 percent, and Michigan, 42.9 percent.
These data are from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program. Those who are jobless for 15 weeks or more are referred to as long-term unemployed. To learn more, see "Duration of unemployment in States, 2007–09" (PDF) in the December 2010 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.