The number of people involuntarily working part-time fell by 406,000 in December, the third consecutive month of sharp declines. On the other side, the unemployment rate due to job leavers fell by 0.4 percentage points, suggesting workers lack confidence in their job prospects. The unemployment duration measures edged down slightly, but did not completely reverse the jump seen in October. The percentage of workers experiencing long-term hardship, a fuller measure that includes people who have left the labor force, is near 7.0 percent, roughly twice the share of workers experiencing long-term unemployment.

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