How long does unemployment last for typical unemployed individuals?

The mean duration of unemployment is 15.0 weeks. The median duration is 8.1 weeks. A sizable number of unemployed workers who are unemployed for over 15 weeks account for this difference between the mean and the median. (Teachers should note that this is an opportune time to discuss the significance of using the mean and median as measures of an average.) Thirty-six percent of September's unemployed individuals were unemployed for five weeks or less; 32 percent were unemployed for 5 to 14 weeks; and 32 percent were unemployed for 15 weeks or more. Fifteen percent (included in the last group) were even unemployed for more than half of a year.