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Today's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long-term unemployed improved notably in January, while still remaining distressed by historic standards.

Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more decreased to 4.708 million, or 38.1% of all unemployed workers (the lowest level seen since November 2009). The median term of unemployment dropped to 16.0 weeks, and the average stay on unemployment declined to 35.3 weeks.

Looking at the charts below, you can see that today's sorry situation far exceeds even the conditions seen during the double-dip recessionary period of the early 1980s. That is long considered by economists to be the worst period of unemployment since the Great Depression.


Source: Recovery-Less Recovery: Unemployment Duration - January 2013