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Once Unemployed, Record Numbers of Workers Remain Unemployed

The record-setting unemployment rates, diving consumer confidence and stagnant economic growth of this recession are driven more than anything else by long-term unemployment, according to numbers released today by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While new claims for unemployment top 600,000 every week, the scary fact of this recession is that once unemployed, workers in this recession remain unemployed more than in past economic downturns. The number of continuing claims for unemployment stood at 6.66 million for the week ended May 9, up 75,000 from the previous week and ┬áthe highest number since the BLS began tracking those figures in 1967, according to’s Catherine Clifford.

The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report for April, released May 8, showed the unemployment rate at 8.9 percent, a 25-year high.

The report showed that 27 percent of 13.7 million unemployed Americans have been out of work for more than six months. That marks the highest percentage of long-term unemployed compared to the overall pool of in the 61 years that reading has been tracked.

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