One way to visu­alize this issue is to com­pare U.S. unem­ploy­ment with job open­ings since 2001. The result can be seen on the attached chart: a scorpion-​​shaped curve that tracks the swelling ranks of the long-​​term job­less. The chart’s cre­ators were Rand Ghayad, a Ph.D. can­di­date in eco­nomics at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, and his adviser, labor econ­o­mist William Dickens. Their work was part of a report they wrote that was pub­lished last year by the Fed­eral Reserve Bank of Boston. It was so striking that the Boston Fed named Ghayad a vis­iting fellow.

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