Americans Unemployed for 15 Weeks or More: 2.9 Million

By Michael W. Chapman | December 2, 2016 | 4:49pm EST


( – Although the unemployment rate dropped slightly in November to 4.6% -- the lowest it has been since August 2007, nine years ago – the number of American workers unemployed for 15 weeks or more was 2,933,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In addition, for the unemployed (age 16 and older), the average number of weeks they are out of work, according to the BLS, is 26.3 weeks.

The last time the average number of weeks unemployed for people 16 years and over was near 26.3 weeks was in May 2016 (26.7 weeks) and then way back in September 2009 (26.6 weeks). That’s between six and seven months of being unemployed.

The highest average of weeks unemployed, between 2006 and 2016, was 40.7 weeks, in July 2011, according to the BLS data. That’s about 10 months of being unemployed, on average, for workers 16 and older.

The number of American workers unemployed for at least 27 weeks or more was 1,856,000 as of the end of November, reported the BLS – nearly 7 months out of work.

To see the BLS data, click here,  then select “Subjects,” then “National Unemployment Rate,” and then scroll down to Labor Force Statistics and click on “Top Picks.”

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