Report: Long-term unemployment in Michigan highest ever
A new report by the Michigan League for Human Services finds that long-term unemployment is at the highest rate since such measures began to be tracked in the state of Michigan.
More than half of Michigan’s unemployed adults of prime working age (25-54) last year spent a half year or longer looking for jobs – the longest on record, the 2011 Labor Day Report from the Michigan League for Human Services concludes.
Even though overall unemployment decreased in 2010 compared with the previous year, the share of long-term unemployed (those out of work 26 weeks or longer) reached the 50 percent mark, which is far higher than even the early 1980s recession. For those of prime working age, 55 percent of unemployed were out of work for 26 weeks or longer. The data has been tracked since 1979.
The report also notes the disparate racial impact of unemployment:
When breaking down the unemployment rate data by race, however, a disturbing disparity becomes apparent.
While the unemployment rate dropped for white and Hispanic workers from 2009 to 2010, it rose sharply for African American workers (Fig.2). Unemployed workers in four southeastern Michigan cities with majority African American populations (Detroit, Pontiac, Inkster and Highland Park) accounted for 16 percent of all unemployed Michigan workers in 2010, with unemployment rates in Pontiac and Highland Park exceeding 30 percent in 2009 and dropping only slightly