There had been a fair amount of buzz around the idea that the budget mini-deal being hashed out between Paul Ryan and Patty Murray might include some extra money to extend unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term unemployed. But Republicans didn't like the idea, and Democrats didn't want to bust up the deal over it, so now folks who've been jobless for an extended period of time are going to lose their benefits at the end of the year.

One consequence of this is that the unemployment rate will almost certainly go down, since some fairly substantial fraction of the long-term unemployed will just stop looking for a job and drop out of the labor force. If you're long-term unemployed, then almost by definition looking for work has not been very successful at getting you work. What it has gotten you is a UI check. Take away the check, there's no point in bothering, and so the denominator in the unemployment rate falls and thus the unemployment rate falls.

The bad news is that the long-term unemployed are screwed. In effect, when companies are looking to hire people, they scan through the résumés they get in the mail and their first step is to throw out all the résumés of people who've been unemployed for a long time. This is research based on pretty well-designed experiments that control for other variables beyond long-term unemployment.

Read it at Slate.