Share of long-term unemployed at 31.7 percent in December 2021

Republished with the permission of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

In December 2021, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 185,000 to 2.0 million. This is down from 4.0 million in December 2020 but is 887,000 higher than in February 2020, when the long-term unemployed totaled 1.1 million. The long-term unemployed accounted for 31.7 percent of total unemployment in December 2021, down from 36.9 percent in December 2020 but higher than the 19.1 percent seen in February 2020.


Since February 2020, among the total unemployed, the share of long-term unemployed was at its lowest in April 2020 (4.4 percent) and at its highest in March 2021 (43.2 percent). Since January 1948, the share of long-term unemployed was at its lowest in May 1953 (2.9 percent) and at its highest in April 2010 (45.5 percent).

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. See “The Employment Situation — December 2021” to learn more. Also see charts of Employment Situation data.



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2200 episodes.

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