January 27, 2003
The median spell of unemployment reported in the Current Population Survey was over two weeks longer in 2002 than in 2001.
When surveyed in 2001, the median duration of unemployment among unemployed persons was 6.8 weeks; this increased to 9.1 weeks in 2002.
The average duration of unemployment also rose in 2002. The average spell of employment among those still unemployed was 13.2 weeks in 2001—this increased to 16.6 weeks in 2002.
All of the above figures on duration of spells of unemployment refer to spells still in progress at the time of the survey; the figures are not for completed spells of unemployment.
These data are a product of the Current Population Survey. More information on duration of unemployment in 2002 can be found in Table 31 of the January 2003 Employment and Earnings. (Data for 2001 are from Table 31 of the January 2002 Employment and Earnings.)
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment spells lengthened in 2002 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/jan/wk4/art01.htm (visited February 10, 2016).
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Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.