Long-term unemployment is above the nation’s pre-recession high in 41 states

State long-term unemployment rates. (Economic Policy Institute)
State long-term unemployment rates. (Economic Policy Institute)

On Tuesday, we wrote about some good-sounding news: unemployment rates in 29 states are at post-recession lows. We alluded to some caveats, however, including the historically huge share of people out of work for prolonged periods —six months or more. On Wednesday, the Economic Policy Institute’s David Cooper provided the state-level data.

Before the Great Recession hit, the national share of the jobless who were long-term unemployed peaked at 26 percent, in June 1983, as you can see in the graph below:

Last year, long-term unemployment was above that level in 41 states and D.C., according to EPI, a think tank whose research focuses on low- and middle-income workers. Long-term unemployment is lowest in the Dakotas, where less than a fifth of the jobless have been out of work for long stretches. It’s highest in D.C., New Jersey and Florida, where more than 45 percent of the jobless are long-term unemployed.

Head on over to EPI’s site for an interactive version of the map above, or scroll down to view state-by-state data. Below that is a series of survey responses from people who are long-term unemployed.

Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post's state and local policy blog.

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Niraj Chokshi · January 29, 2014

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