Long-Term Unemployment Rises in October to 40.6%

By Matt Cover | November 2, 2012 | 8:57am EDT

In this Tuesday, July 17, 2012, file photo, business employment specialist Linda Reynolds, right, helps job searcher D'Andre Preston at WorkSource Oregon in Tualatin, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(CNSNews.com) - The long-term unemployment rate rose to 40.6 percent in October, up from September’s level of 40.1 percent of the total unemployed, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.

Long-term unemployment is unemployment lasting for 27 consecutive weeks or longer, according to BLS.

The government reported that just over 5 million people were unemployed for more than six months – 27 weeks – rising from September’s level of 4.8 million.

Long-term unemployment has remained elevated since the end of the recession in 2009. In January 2009, when President Obama took office, there were 2.7 million long-term unemployed Americans. By August of that year – after the recession had ended in June – that number had crossed the 5 million mark.

Long-term unemployment remained above 5 million people until September, when it fell to 4.8 million.

The long-term unemployment rate – the percentage of the unemployed that have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer – has not been below 40 percent since December 2009, suggesting that while the overall unemployment rate has declined steadily, the economy is not creating enough jobs to bring back workers lost during the recession. Instead, the weak jobs growth is merely enough to keep up with the growth in population.

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