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Last week's employment situation report showed that conditions for the long-term unemployed improved in June, while still remaining distressed by historic standards. Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more declined to 4.328 million, or 36.7% of all unemployed workers, while the median term of unemployment declined to 16.3 weeks and the average stay on unemployment declined to 35.6 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 has long been considered by economists to be the worst period of unemployment since the Great Depression.

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