- If the long-term unemployed were consistently dropping out of the job search, and staying out, the supply of long-term unemployed counted by BLS would have already been exhausted, write Cajner and Ratner. Instead, what’s more likely is that the group moves between non-participation and other periods of more intense job searching.
Why should people care so much about this specific population? Well, any level of unemployment can be personally devastating, but an extended stint of unemployment can have particularly pernicious effects, some of which last well after someone finds a new job. In addition to taking a bite out of current income, a period of unemployment can hurt future income, too, according to a 2013 study from the Urban Institute.