Home > The Economy > USA long-term unemployment: 5 graphs

USA long-term unemployment: 5 graphs

1. Unemployment Rate – U6   2000 -2010
2. Long-term unemployment 1949 – 2010
3. Unemployed over 26 weeks 1969 – 2010
4. Change in employement: Current recession vs. summary of 10 post-war recessions
5. Average number of weeks unemployed 1949 – 2010


USA Unemployment Rate – U6   2000 -2010

Chart is generated for a range of 22 year only 
Source: OECD 

  • U3 : Official unemployment rate per ILO definition. 
  • U4 : U3 + “discouraged workers”, or those who have stopped looking for work because current economic conditions make them believe that no work is available for them.
  • U5 : U4 + other “marginally attached workers”, or “loosely attached workers”, or those who “would like” and are able to work, but have not looked for work recently.
  • U6 : U5 + Part time workers who want to work full time, but cannot due to economic reasons.



  1. November 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    It’s an ugly situation likely brought about by credit contraction for the productive economy due to debt deflation and the channeling of funds into speculative activities (quick bucks) at the expense of longer term investments (slow bucks).
    An underlying trend is the transfer of blue collar jobs to “emerging” economies.
    Bye, bye, middle class

  2. merijnknibbe
    November 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Immoderate economics.

    1. The increase alreay started before the last crisis (unemployed for over 26 weeks). Why?
    2. After 1983, a 2% drop took 7 years. Now, almost drop of 4% is needed (unemployed for over 26 weeks).
    3. Ben Bernanke was one of the defenders of the idea of ‘The Great Moderation’. Nothing, absolutely nothing like that shows from these data.

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