Quick Takes | Economic Growth

Recovery Act saving jobs, but long-term unemployment highest in 70 years

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The July unemployment report showed that 247,000 more jobs were lost last month, although the unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 9.4%, reflecting 422,000 people dropping out of the labor force. The number of workers who have been unemployed for over six months, meanwhile, increased by 584,000 to 5 million, meaning that more than one-third of the country’s 14.5 million unemployed workers have been jobless for more than half a year. The economy is clearly worsening, but thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it is doing so much more slowly than during the winter months. Job losses in July would likely have been nearly double without the impact of the recovery act.