The Corner

How’s That Stimulus Working?: Unemployment Edition

The stimulus was supposed to bring back the jobs and keep unemployment below 8.8 percent, remember? Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. For one thing, unemployment is still flirting with the 10 percent mark. Also, as we can see on the chart below, long-term unemployment has been growing significantly since the beginning of the recession — and the passage of the stimulus bill and other job bills didn’t change the trend.

http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Recession and Long-Term Unemploymentsmaller NEW_0.jpg

This chart is based on seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you can see, last month, over 44.1 percent of unemployed workers (6.5 million workers) had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more; at the start of 2008, 18.3 percent of unemployed workers fell into this category. Importantly, these measures of unemployment exclude workers who want employment but were, for various reasons, not included in BLS’s unemployment calculations – an estimated 5.8 million workers.

For more of my weekly charts go here.

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