With all the 'good news' on US unemployment out, time to update my Scariest Chart relating to the subject.
Take a look at average duration of unemployment through September 2104:
And now take a look the Scariest Chart plotting duration of unemployment within every historical episode of unemployment duration exceeding pre-recession average:
In other words, positive momentum is retained and average duration of unemployment in the current crisis is falling relative to pre-crisis average, but:
1) Average duration of unemployment remains well above its pre-crisis average during the current episode;
2) Average duration of unemployment over and above pre-crisis average in the current period is well higher than in any other crisis period;
3) The duration of the jobs crisis in the US, measured by the length of period over which average duration of unemployment is above its pre-crisis period is now just 2 months shy of overtaking the third longest crisis in history (although we should really exclude that episode as it covers short-lived sharp 2001 recession during which the duration went up and stayed permanently above pre-crisis period).
So things are significantly better, but they are still epically bad...