NPR logo Chart: Average Job Search Hits All-Time High as Chronic Unemployment Sets In

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Chart: Average Job Search Hits All-Time High as Chronic Unemployment Sets In

The average job search has never taken this long. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics hide caption

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

As the jobless rate has continued its stubborn climb, reaching 9.8 percent today, chronic unemployment has been a major driver. The pace of layoffs has slowed from the fall and winter months, but companies aren't yet adding new workers. If you get laid off, you risk finding yourself in a tough spot.

After falling a bit in August, the average job search resumed its upward trajectory in September with a vengeance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. As of September, job searchers could expect to spend 26.2 weeks on the hunt — the longest average on record since the BLS started keep records back in 1948.

The last time the jobless rate was this high, the average search took 20.8 weeks. Today, people are facing average searches that are six weeks longer. The BLS says the number of people sidelined for 27 weeks or more has risen to 5,438,000 from 4,988,000 in August.

After the jump, a chart on job searches.

The biggest growth is in the category of people out of work longer than 27 weeks. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics hide caption

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics