NC in Focus: Long-Term Unemployment
“One of the defining features of the Great Recession and not-so-great recovery has been the surge in long-term unemployment…
Analysts have advanced several explanations for the persistence of long-term unemployment: an unintended consequence of extending jobless benefits; a mismatch between the skills unemployed workers have and what employers want; a breakdown in the efficiency of labor markets; or simply bad timing. Whatever the reason, it’s a major concern for policymakers, who fear that many of the long-term unemployed may never find their way back into the workforce.”– Drew DeSilver, “Long-term unemployment is still high; new research suggests geography could be one reason” from Pew
In 2013, North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 8.3%. More than half of the state’s unemployed workers (4.4% of all workers) reported being long-term unemployed, meaning they were actively seeking employment but had been without work for six or more months (27+ weeks). One in six unemployed workers (1.4% of all workers) had been unemployed for a year or longer. The chart below uses March Current Population Survey data to provide detail on unemployment in North Carolina between 1990 and 2013.