Economic snapshot | Jobs and Unemployment

White-collar unemployment double its pre-recession level for almost 2.5 years

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Our country’s high unemployment and stagnant recovery has affected Americans of all demographics and skill levels. The unemployment rate among white-collar workers has been 6 percent or higher for 29 consecutive months (April 2009 through Aug. 2011). The only other time since 1973 that white-collar unemployment reached 6 percent was a six-month period from Nov. 1982 through April 1983. Before the start of the Great Recession in Dec. 2007, white-collar unemployment was 3 percent. This persistent high unemployment among white-collar workers runs counter to the claim some make that our high unemployment is primarily “structural,” a false notion that there are plentiful job openings but an inadequate supply of workers with the right skills to fill them.

MORE: Download Excel spreadsheet of white-collar unemployment data from 1973-2011

Research assistance provided by Nicholas Finio


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