The news is not really good:
The stories are devastating and clearly point to the urgency of labor policy.
Over at The Baseline Scenario, James Kwak has a series of graphics that give some nuance to unemployment data, especially on long-term unemployment. Click on the image for a larger view.
Needless to say, our social structures are not designed for long-term unemployment (and the dominant ideology is merciless on this front, especially when it comes to minorities). The looseness (to use a kind word) of the safety net in the US makes it even harder for a lot of people to weather the recession, and, by extension, will delay recovery. This is where public policy should kick in but probably won’t.