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The latest employment situation report showed that conditions for the long-term unemployed improved in October while still remaining distressed by historic standards. Workers unemployed 27 weeks or more declined to 4.063 million, or 36.1% of all unemployed workers. The median-term of unemployment went flat at 16.3 weeks, and the average stay on unemployment declined to 36.1 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, long considered by economists to be the worst period of unemployment since the Great Depression.

Source: Recovery-Less Recovery: Unemployment Duration, October 2013