Unemployment: 6 months is too long
Unemployment: 6 months is too long

While the job market has started to recover, it's moving at a snail's pace.

And for the roughly 5.8 million people who've been unemployed for more than six months, that's little consolation.

These folks make up 43.4% of all unemployed Americans, and face perhaps the highest bar to re-entering the labor force.

They're competing not only against new college grads, but people who've been unemployed for a shorter period. Plus, employers fear that the longer a worker is unemployed, the more skills they lose.

Facing these challenges, many of the long-term unemployed may choose to give up on the job market altogether.

"I worry that we're going to end up with a lot of people who are disenfranchised and unemployable," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Last updated May 17 2011: 9:06 AM ET
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