Unemployment Benefits Extension 2014: Report Says Long-Term Jobless Rate Has Dropped Since December

A report from the Federal Reserve recently said there’s been a “recent decline” in long-term unemployment.

The paper says that those who have been out of a job for more than 27 weeks–the “long term” unemployed–has dropped sharply in recent months.

It notes that there’s evidence that they’re finding work rather than dropping from the labor force entirely.

“Since December 2013, the long-term unemployment rate dropped 0.5 percentage point, thereby accounting for almost the entire decline in the aggregate unemployment rate. At the same time, the aggregate labor force participation rate remained unchanged, on net, at 62.8 percent and the aggregate employment-population ratio rose 0.4 percentage point. These encouraging developments appear consistent with rising employment of those previously reported as long-term unemployed,” the Fed said in a report.

The Associated Press

US job growth eases but tops 200K for a 6th month 
WASHINGTON (AP) — A sixth straight month of solid 200,000-plus job growth in July reinforced growing evidence that the U.S. economy is accelerating after five years of sluggish expansion.

Employers added 209,000 jobs last month. Though that was fewer than in the previous three months, the economy has now produced an average 244,000 jobs a month since February — the best six-month string in eight years.

At the same time, most economists don’t think the pace of job growth is enough to cause the Federal Reserve to speed up its timetable for raising interest rates. Most still think the Fed will start raising rates to ward off inflation around mid-2015.

The Labor Department’s jobs report Friday pointed to an economy that has bounced back with force after a grim start to the year and is expected to sustain its strength into 2015. Economists generally expect it to grow at a 3 percent annual rate in the second half of this year after expanding 4 percent in the second quarter. Consumer spending is rising, manufacturing is expanding rapidly and auto sales are up.

“There is no doubt that the economy and the labor market have been strengthening,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at California State University’s Smith School of Business. “People are rejoining the labor force. All these factors point to moderate, but sustained economic growth in 2014.”

Speaking with reporters Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama declared that the economy “is clearly getting stronger. … Our engines are revving a little bit louder.”