Looking for work

mean (average) duration of unemployment, UEMPMEAN, measured in weeks, reported monthly, 2000 to 2013

Lots of happy news in the (where else?) US media about unemployment. “Things are getting better” is the underlying mantra, but if you’re unemployed and looking for work is this true?

The chart above shows the average time folks are out of a job, across two recessions. Specifically, the black line show the average time it takes to find a new job (UEMPMEAN, measured in weeks) over the past two recessions. Clearly the recovery from The Great Recession is unusual in that it now takes the unemployed 35.9 weeks to find a new job, compared to 17.9 weeks during the last period of economic expansion. Compounding matters, no economic recovery lasts forever.

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