The Real Reason There Are So Many Long-Term Unemployed?

long-term unemployed: crowd at a hiring fair
long-term unemployed: crowd at a hiring fair

The average unemployed American now spends 35 weeks job-hunting, an amount almost double what it's been at any point before the Great Recession. And one thing that everyone agrees on: Even though more and more companies are hiring, people who have been unemployed for six months or more aren't getting those jobs, according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

A lot of experts have explanations: The long-term unemployed have rusty skills, or they didn't have the right skills to begin with in our new computerized, knowledge economy; their networks have eroded; or, they're addicted to hand-outs. But new research suggests another possibility.

Originally published