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What's behind the decline in long-term unemployment?

The plight of the long-term unemployed has been a major storyline in this recession — the share of the unemployed who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more (or around half a year or longer) skyrocketed during the recession. But if you want some encouraging news on this front, here it is: it has fallen significantly over the last year.

Long-term unemployed

Since September 2013, the share of unemployed who have been out of work 27 weeks or longer has fallen by 5 percentage points.

It's good news, but as with so many things in the jobs report, it comes with caveats. One, the figure tends to bounce around a bit, and indeed it ticked up slightly last month. And two, it's possible that some of that long-term decline is because the long-term unemployed have given up the search.

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