Jobs report reveals alarming level of long-term unemployment

Early in the pandemic, there were lots of temporary job losses. Businesses were shut, temporarily. People were furloughed, temporarily, and would hopefully get back to work, eventually.

But now, 4 million people are suffering with long-term unemployment.

“That is exactly double what it was in January of 2020. So, the economy, in my view, is really stuck in a rut right now,” said Carl Van Horn, professor of public policy at Rutgers. He said unemployed people are stuck in a rut as well, due to “employment scarring,” in which the longer someone goes without a job, the harder it is to get a job.

Marketplace, February 5, 2021