The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) on the long-term unemployment rate

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Heidi_Shierholz2x2web (Heidi Shierholz)–The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is an independent, nonprofit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States.

The long-term unemployment rate–the share of the labor force that has been unemployed for more than six months–is elevated across all demographic groups, education levels, and states, according to new data released  by the Economic Policy Institute.

These new data break out long-term unemployment rates by age, gender, race and ethnicity, family type, and state. While rates vary, the trend is clear: long-term unemployment is elevated across the board. This is evidence that the root of today’s long-term unemployment crisis is continued lack of demand, a legacy of the Great Recession. This weakness in aggregate demand-weak spending by households, businesses, and governments-is keeping employers from hiring quickly enough to bring down long-term unemployment at an acceptably rapid rate.

“Long-term unemployment not only means reduced earnings for workers, it also means more economic hurdles for their children,” said EPI economist Heidi Shierholz. “Currently, nearly 3 percent of U.S. children are facing the negative consequences of having a parent who has been unemployed more than six months. This is three times as many kids facing this situation as there were before the Great Recession began.”