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CBO offers reality check for unemployment

Posted on February 21st, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

According to statistics from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO), unemployment has been above 8 percent for exactly two years, and it's expected to stay that way through 2014.

Furthermore, because part-time and temporary workers aren't factored into unemployment figures, the number of people looking for full-time employment is likely much higher than January's oft-cited figure of 8.3 percent.

"Many people would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks, or are working part-time but would prefer full-time work. If those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent," said the organization, as quoted by Big Government.

In addition, more than 40 percent of people who are currently unemployed have been out of work for more than six months. Compared with the approximately 25 percent of people who were long-term unemployed during the 1981-1982 recession, it seems the U.S. is currently experiencing the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression.

The CBO places some of the blame on President Barack Obama's unemployment benefits extensions, which reduces the sense of urgency among many job-seekers.

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