The real terror of the March unemployment figures was not that the economy added only 88,000 jobs. Much worse than that is the lack of improvement in the situations of those battered the most by the halting recovery — the long-term unemployed and part-time and discouraged workers. So little progress has been made among these groups that it can barely be measured. And the best sign of a full-blown recovery likely will be when improvements occur across the broadest spectrum.
The number of long-term unemployed (those out of work more than 27 weeks) remained flat from February at 4.6 million, which is about the same as the population of all of urban Houston. These persons represent 36.9% of the entire unemployment pool. They put the heaviest burden on unemployment benefits, and as their plight reaches more than 99 weeks, many will have no benefits at all.
The other group that…
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