As I have commented previously, as in the October 6, 2009 post (“A Note About Unemployment Statistics”), in my opinion the official methodologies used to measure the various job loss and unemployment statistics do not provide an accurate depiction; they serve to understate the severity of unemployment.
However, even if one chooses to look at the official statistics, the following charts provide an interesting (and disconcerting) long-term perspective of certain aspects of the officially-stated unemployment situation.
The first two charts are from the St. Louis Fed site. Here is the Median Duration of Unemployment (current value = 21.1 weeks) :
(click on charts to enlarge images)(charts updated as of 2-3-12)
Here is the chart for Unemployed 27 Weeks and Over (current value = 5.518 million) :
Lastly, a chart from the CalculatedRisk.com site, from the February 3 post titled “Graphs: Unemployment Rate, Participation Rate, Jobs Added." This shows the employment situation vs. that of previous recessions, as shown:
As depicted by these charts, our unemployment problem is severe. Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any “easy” solutions.
In July 2009 I wrote a series of five blog posts titled “Why Aren’t Companies Hiring?”, which discusses various aspects of the topic, many of which lack recognition.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1344.90 as this post is written