Who are the long term unemployed?

A few weeks ago, Mike was asking me about the long term unemployed. I’m running some regressions using CPS data so I have the data he asked about just hanging out on my desktop. Public service:

The unemployed during this recession ((I looked at 2008 and 2009 data for folks that worked one week or more)) are different than those that don’t become unemployed. They’re younger, less educated, more likely to be male and less likely to be married.

Now, the long-term unemployed (greater than 25 weeks unemployed) are different from the short-term unemployed. They are even less educated, less likely to be white, less likely to be married and slightly older.


The never unemployed average 40.1 years old, the short-term unemployed 35.5 and the long-term unemployed are 36. Contrary to Tyler Cowen, unemployed workers above 40 with a college degree are not much more likely to be long-term unemployed (they’re 24% of the 40+ long-term sample compared to 21.9% of the 40+ short-term unemployed sample). Relative to all college educated workers, college educated workers older than 40 are just more likely to be unemployed.

2 thoughts on “Who are the long term unemployed?”

  1. But we know that different demographics have different unemployment rates on average/all the time. So are these differences on top of the usual difference or in absolute value?

  2. Yeah, I didn’t explain the chart. Those are percentage of the sample. So, for example, whites make up about 80% the employed and the short-term employed samples.

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