There’s unemployment, and then there’s long-term unemployment.

Over one third of the nation’s unemployed workers has been out of work for more than six months, according to the Urban Institute, in a recently released interactive feature entitled, “27 Weeks and Counting: Long-Term Unemployment in America.

The “27 Weeks and Counting” feature is impressive on several counts. For starters, it takes a comprehensive look at the prevalence of long-term unemployed persons in the U.S., defined as those out of work – and actively seeking employment – for more than half a year. But this online report does more than explore the magnitude of the long-term unemployment challenge. It also examines the causes – and effects – of long-term unemployment, and poses solutions that range from strengthening the economy to providing job training and workforce development programs.

Long-term unemployment is a very real problem for many individuals, with ripple effects impacting their families and communities – across all regions of the nation.

And since this is a problem that transcends numbers, the “27 Weeks and Counting…” feature puts a face to the statistics, featuring slide shows and video clips of four “real people” sharing their stories, hopes and frustrations. These personal accounts pack a strong punch; this is a very real problem for so many people across the country, with ripple effects impacting their families and communities – across all regions of the nation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ found that in 2012, on the high end, 43.5 percent of unemployed persons in the Northeast were without jobs for 27 works or more. The Midwest had the lowest percentage of long-term unemployed, with 38.6 percent of workers without jobs for more than six months. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor’s Desk, September 5, 2013).

The Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative issued an in-depth analysis of long-term unemployment in 2010. The report, entitled “A Year or More: The High Cost of Long-Term Unemployment,”  examines historical trends of long-term unemployment tracing back to 1948, characteristics of the long-term unemployed by age and education, and the fiscal economic impact  of long-term unemployment. An Addendum was released in May of 2012.