Nearly a third of the 14 million Americans who are officially unemployed have been out of work for more than a year, enough to fill the state of Louisiana. That share of total unemployment has grown by 50 percent since December 2009. These aren't merely the long-term unemployed, a term the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines as being out of work for more than six months. These are the long-long-term unemployed. The 52-weekers.
Here we go with the pictures:
How Old Are They?
How Long Did They Go to School?
This is one of the most surprising parts of the Pew study. Advanced and Bachelor's degrees are fantastic protection against unemployment. Joblessness is below 5% for college grads and in the mid-teens for high school drop-outs. But among the unemployment, a roughly equal share of each group -- from advanced degree to less than HS -- are long-term unemployed: Between 30 and 40% across the board.
What does this prove? Hard to say. My gut says that age has much more to do with long-term jobless trends than educational attainment. Leave your own theories in the comment section.
Where Do They Work?
We crunched and graphed some Pew data to create this chart of industry-by-industry unemployment rates (BLUE) and long-term unemployment's share of total joblessness (RED). To be clear: It might be confusing on first blush that the red bar is higher than the blue bar, because it represents fewer people. But that is because it stands for a share of total unemployment. Make sense?
1) There is no relationship between unemployment and long-term unemployment by industry that I can see. None. Mining has low unemployment and high salaries and terrible long-term joblessness. The leisure industry has one of the worst overall unemployment rates but its long-term jobless share is low.
2) Think about where young people work. They work in leisure. Some work as nurses or teachers. They work in wholesale and retail. Young people have an easier time finding new work. That might be a key reason why these industries have lower long-term unemployment.
3) Agriculture looks remarkably insulated from both the unemployment crisis and the long-term unemployment scourge.