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BPC Breaks Down the COVID-19 Rise in Long-Term Unemployment

Washington, DC – Recent analysis from the Bipartisan Policy Center discusses how long-term unemployment is undermining the economic recovery and will be detrimental to individual careers and families for years to come. With the number of Americans who have been unemployed for over six months remaining historically elevated at 4 million, it is vital that lawmakers pursue policies to foster reemployment—or risk decades-long consequences.

“Today’s jobs report indicates that the labor market continues to make progress, but it also highlights that the nation’s worker shortage is still one of the most significant challenges slowing the economic recovery,” said Ben Gitis, senior policy analyst for BPC’s Economic Policy Project. “Making matters worse, millions of Americans are not even looking for work, as labor force participation continues to show no sign of returning to its pre-pandemic level. Extended periods of joblessness can reduce a worker’s future earnings, increase mortality, and cause stress that harms families and children.”

The Bipartisan Policy Center examined the number of workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more and labor force participation from 2006-2021 along with the current record-high reality of 9.3 million job openings, indicating that today’s labor supply issues could be stunting the economic recovery.

For questions, or to speak to a BPC expert, contact Senior Manager of Media Relations Kyle Fischer.

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