A single paragraph that explains why unemployment is still so high

It comes from the 2014 Economic Report of the President, released today:

The current elevation of the unemployment rate is entirely due to long-term unemployment. In December 2013, the unemployment rate for workers unemployed 26 weeks or less fell to lower than its average in the 2001-07 period, while the unemployment rate for workers unemployed 27 weeks or more remained higher than at any time prior to the Great Recession. But the long-term unemployment rate has declined by 1.1 percentage points in the last two years, a steeper decline than the 0.5 percentage point drop in the short-term unemployment rate over that period (Figure 2-24).

For more on long-term unemployment, read my colleague Ylan Mui's smart take on the subject earlier this year.

Zachary A. Goldfarb is policy editor at The Washington Post.
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