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How long before the unemployed find jobs or quit looking?

Chart 1. Median duration of unemployment for persons who became employed or left the labor force in the subsequent month, not seasonally adjusted 12-month moving average, January 1995–December 2010
Month Became employed Left the labor force

Jan 1995

5.4 9.1

Feb 1995

5.4 9.1

Mar 1995

5.3 9.1

Apr 1995

5.1 8.9

May 1995

5.0 8.8

Jun 1995

5.0 8.8

Jul 1995

5.0 8.8

Aug 1995

5.0 8.8

Sep 1995

4.9 8.7

Oct 1995

4.9 8.6

Nov 1995

4.8 8.5

Dec 1995

4.8 8.4

Jan 1996

4.8 8.3

Feb 1996

4.8 8.3

Mar 1996

4.7 8.2

Apr 1996

4.8 8.2

May 1996

4.9 8.3

Jun 1996

4.8 8.1

Jul 1996

4.8 8.0

Aug 1996

4.8 7.9

Sep 1996

4.7 7.9

Oct 1996

4.7 7.7

Nov 1996

4.7 7.8

Dec 1996

4.7 7.7

Jan 1997

4.7 7.6

Feb 1997

4.7 7.5

Mar 1997

4.8 7.6

Apr 1997

4.7 7.6

May 1997

4.6 7.5

Jun 1997

4.6 7.5

Jul 1997

4.6 7.5

Aug 1997

4.6 7.5

Sep 1997

4.6 7.5

Oct 1997

4.6 7.6

Nov 1997

4.5 7.5

Dec 1997

4.5 7.5

Jan 1998

4.5 7.6

Feb 1998

4.5 7.7

Mar 1998

4.4 7.6

Apr 1998

4.4 7.5

May 1998

4.2 7.4

Jun 1998

4.2 7.3

Jul 1998

4.2 7.3

Aug 1998

4.2 7.2

Sep 1998

4.2 7.2

Oct 1998

4.2 7.1

Nov 1998

4.2 7.0

Dec 1998

4.2 7.0

Jan 1999

4.2 6.9

Feb 1999

4.2 6.8

Mar 1999

4.1 6.9

Apr 1999

4.2 6.8

May 1999

4.2 6.8

Jun 1999

4.2 6.8

Jul 1999

4.2 6.8

Aug 1999

4.2 6.7

Sep 1999

4.2 6.8

Oct 1999

4.2 6.7

Nov 1999

4.1 7.0

Dec 1999

4.1 6.9

Jan 2000

4.1 6.8

Feb 2000

4.1 6.8

Mar 2000

4.1 6.7

Apr 2000

3.9 6.7

May 2000

4.0 6.6

Jun 2000

4.0 6.5

Jul 2000

4.0 6.5

Aug 2000

4.0 6.6

Sep 2000

3.9 6.5

Oct 2000

4.0 6.6

Nov 2000

4.0 6.5

Dec 2000

4.0 6.4

Jan 2001

4.0 6.5

Feb 2001

4.0 6.4

Mar 2001

4.0 6.4

Apr 2001

4.0 6.5

May 2001

3.8 6.5

Jun 2001

3.9 6.5

Jul 2001

3.9 6.5

Aug 2001

3.9 6.5

Sep 2001

3.9 6.5

Oct 2001

4.0 6.5

Nov 2001

4.0 6.6

Dec 2001

4.0 6.7

Jan 2002

4.1 6.9

Feb 2002

4.2 7.0

Mar 2002

4.4 7.2

Apr 2002

4.6 7.3

May 2002

4.9 7.5

Jun 2002

4.9 7.7

Jul 2002

5.0 7.9

Aug 2002

5.0 8.0

Sep 2002

5.2 8.1

Oct 2002

5.3 8.3

Nov 2002

5.4 8.5

Dec 2002

5.5 8.6

Jan 2003

5.6 8.7

Feb 2003

5.6 8.9

Mar 2003

5.7 8.9

Apr 2003

5.8 9.0

May 2003

5.8 9.1

Jun 2003

5.9 9.1

Jul 2003

5.8 9.2

Aug 2003

5.9 9.3

Sep 2003

6.0 9.3

Oct 2003

6.1 9.4

Nov 2003

6.1 9.4

Dec 2003

6.2 9.4

Jan 2004

6.1 9.6

Feb 2004

6.2 9.7

Mar 2004

6.2 9.7

Apr 2004

6.4 9.9

May 2004

6.3 9.7

Jun 2004

6.4 9.8

Jul 2004

6.4 9.8

Aug 2004

6.3 9.7

Sep 2004

6.3 9.7

Oct 2004

6.2 9.7

Nov 2004

6.2 9.7

Dec 2004

6.1 9.7

Jan 2005

6.0 9.6

Feb 2005

5.9 9.4

Mar 2005

5.7 9.4

Apr 2005

5.7 9.2

May 2005

5.7 9.1

Jun 2005

5.7 9.1

Jul 2005

5.7 9.0

Aug 2005

5.7 8.9

Sep 2005

5.7 8.9

Oct 2005

5.6 8.8

Nov 2005

5.5 8.8

Dec 2005

5.4 8.7

Jan 2006

5.4 8.6

Feb 2006

5.3 8.6

Mar 2006

5.3 8.5

Apr 2006

5.1 8.5

May 2006

5.2 8.5

Jun 2006

5.1 8.6

Jul 2006

5.1 8.4

Aug 2006

5.0 8.4

Sep 2006

5.0 8.4

Oct 2006

5.1 8.4

Nov 2006

5.0 8.4

Dec 2006

5.1 8.4

Jan 2007

5.1 8.3

Feb 2007

5.1 8.2

Mar 2007

5.1 8.3

Apr 2007

5.1 8.3

May 2007

5.1 8.5

Jun 2007

5.1 8.3

Jul 2007

5.1 8.4

Aug 2007

5.2 8.4

Sep 2007

5.2 8.5

Oct 2007

5.1 8.6

Nov 2007

5.1 8.6

Dec 2007

5.1 8.6

Jan 2008

5.2 8.7

Feb 2008

5.2 8.7

Mar 2008

5.2 8.7

Apr 2008

5.1 8.6

May 2008

5.1 8.6

Jun 2008

5.1 8.7

Jul 2008

5.1 8.8

Aug 2008

5.2 8.8

Sep 2008

5.2 8.8

Oct 2008

5.4 8.9

Nov 2008

5.6 9.1

Dec 2008

5.6 9.2

Jan 2009

5.6 9.5

Feb 2009

5.7 9.6

Mar 2009

5.9 9.9

Apr 2009

6.1 10.1

May 2009

6.3 10.6

Jun 2009

6.7 11.2

Jul 2009

6.9 11.6

Aug 2009

7.0 12.1

Sep 2009

7.2 12.4

Oct 2009

7.5 12.9

Nov 2009

7.8 13.5

Dec 2009

8.1 14.3

Jan 2010

8.4 15.2

Feb 2010

8.6 15.9

Mar 2010

8.8 16.6

Apr 2010

9.1 17.4

May 2010

9.6 18.0

Jun 2010

9.7 18.8

Jul 2010

9.9 19.3

Aug 2010

10.0 19.4

Sep 2010

10.1 19.6

Oct 2010

10.2 19.6

Nov 2010

10.2 19.9

Dec 2010

10.3 19.9

NOTE: Shaded areas represent recessions as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Duration is based on the number of weeks unemployed in the month before becoming employed or leaving the labor force and, therefore, is somewhat understated.

These data featured in the Issues in Labor Statistics article, How long before the unemployed find jobs or quit looking?.

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