What Can We Learn from the Long-Term Unemployed in the New York City Metro Area?

November 18, 2013

Among the problems that we as a nation have been grappling with since the end of the Great Recession, which ended in 2009, is the persistence of unemployment or, more specifically, long-term unemployment. It has been commonplace to assume that long-term unemployment is because of structural change, which has resulted in a skills mismatch. There is no question that structural changes in the economy mean that jobs that were eliminated—because of shocks from the financial crisis, which led to downturns in the business cycle—are not coming back. But this may assume too much. On the contrary, the principal issue is the depth of the recession, which has led to a severe decrease in aggregate demand for goods and services.

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