Category Archives: average duration of unemployment

3/6/19: Average Duration of Unemployment in the U.S.: Still High by Historical Comparatives

Remember my 'scary chart' from the day back? The one plotting the persistently high - relative to the business cycle - duration of unemployment in the U.S.?

I have not updated this chart for some years now. So here is a new version based on the latest data:

Two things worth noting:

  1. Declines in unemployment and rises in employment in recent years have been accompanied by a rather dramatic decline in the average duration of unemployment claims in the U.S. This is reflect in the drop in the cyclically-adjusted average duration of claims evidenced in the chart.
  2. However, by all historical comparatives, the current business expansion cycle continues to be associated with significantly higher average duration of unemployment, compared to the pre-recession average.
In other words, not all is rosy in the labor markets.