The temporary furloughs caused by springtime shutdown orders are turning into permanent job losses. And the one entity that could do something about it ― the government ― is doing nothing.
More than 2.4 million workers had been unemployed for at least six months as of September, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Labor Department. It’s the most people mired in long-term joblessness since 2015 and a huge increase of 781,000 from the month before.
“It’s the biggest increase in long-term unemployment we’ve ever seen,” said Heidi Shierholz, a former Labor Department economist now with the Economic Policy Institute think tank.
Six months is what economists consider long-term unemployment, and it’s bad. When a worker is unemployed that long, their…