Does CT have a long-term unemployment problem?

    Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Most unemployed workers in Connecticut spend at least 15 weeks out of a job, which could suggest looming problems for both the economy and workers suffering the effects of long-term joblessness.

    Out of 100 unemployed Connecticut residents, 62 will need more than 15 weeks to find a job, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. For 100 U.S. residents, only 54 would face long-term unemployment.

    Connecticut’s problem with long-term unemployment predates the recent financial crisis. Long-term unemployment as a percentage of total unemployment has exceeded the national average since at least 2005.

    Lengthier periods of unemployment suggest structural causes, meaning the skills of the unemployed don’t match up well with the jobs that are available.

    Two measures of Connecticut unemployment – the number of workers unemployed for 15 weeks or longer and the number of people losing their jobs recently – sit above the national average, while the unemployment rate itself remains better than the country’s as a whole.

    The U.S. Department of Labor uses six different measures of unemployment, referred to as U-1 through U-6, with U-3 being the commonly referenced unemployment rate.

    U-1, the percentage of workers unemployed for more than 15 weeks, held steady at 5.1 during the most recent reporting period. Nationwide, U-1 is 4.9 percent.

    U-2, the percentage of workers who lost their job or completed temporary work, continues to exceed the national average as it has since 2011. Connecticut’s U-2 is 5.1 compared to 4.8 nationally.