It's been over four years since the recovery officially began, but there are still over four million people who are long-term unemployed. That's four million people who can't find work even after looking for six months or more -- four million people who can't even get companies to look at their resumes anymore.

But just who are the long-term unemployed? Well, that's the question Josh Mitchell of the Urban Institute looked at, and the answer is at once reassuring and terrifying. It turns out the long-term unemployed aren't much different from the other unemployed -- with two exceptions. They're just as educated (if not more so). And they're pretty much the same racially. But they're older. And they're unemployed, because they lost their last job -- and no, that's not as tautological as it sounds.
So just who ends up being long-term unemployed? Well, it depends how they got unemployed in the first place. Some people leave their jobs, and some people lose them. Some people are looking for their first job, and some people are looking for their first job in awhile. Some people are on a temporary leave, and some people are finishing temporary jobs. The newly unemployed are split pretty evenly between all of these groups. But almost half of the long-term unemployed are people who, for whatever reason, lost their last job.
Well, I am one who left my last job a long time ago to raise my youngest daughter. It is tough, really tough to find a job when I have been out of work this long. And the ones you do find are pretty bad jobs.

Who Are the Long-Term Unemployed? - Matthew O'Brien - The Atlantic