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Unemployment: What Are the Big Trends?

Unemployment rate improves as long-term unemployment persists.

Written by  Dan Fastenberg, AOL Jobs

Five years on, the financial crash is no longer a fresh trauma. But its damage is far from resolved. So as the country gears up for 2014, where do the economy and jobs landscape stand?

The Wall Street Journal produced a video (see below) surveying the economy and as the video attests, the economy has seen recovery from the worst pits it reached in 2010. Back then, the unemployment rate stood as high as 10 percent; at latest tally in November, the figure stood at 7.0 percent, as was documented by the  Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But as Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the liberal and non-profit Washington D.C.-based research organization, the Economic Policy Institute, recently told AOL Jobs, "We've actually made very few improvements to the  labor market. You also have to consider all the jobs we should have been adding over these past five years, instead of trying to recoup the jobs that have been lost."

Indeed, one group of workers who continue to suffer are the  long-term unemployed, a group whose size is hard to track due to the reality that many have pulled themselves out of the labor market. But as AOL Jobs reported last month, studies have pegged the total to stand at 4.1 million workers.

The suspicion that these workers are discriminated against in the labor market is not paranoia; research conducted by Rand Ghayad, a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, found recently unemployed job candidates had better luck at landing gigs than qualified workers who have been out of work for longer. In total, Ghayad sent out a total of 4,800 dummy applications, and he found the recently unemployed got call-backs between nine and 16 percent of the time. For the qualified who have been out of work more than six months? One to three percent of the time.

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