January 31, 2012 | 4:01pm
More than 53 percent of Florida's unemployed residents
went six months or more without work last year -- the highest rate in the country, according to a study from the Hamilton Project, run by the Brookings Institute, a D.C. think tank.
To compare, the average unemployed worker between 2004 and 2007 spent two months without work
, according to the study. After the "Great Recession," the authors wrote, time between jobs has skyrocketed.
"It has always been harder to find a job the longer you are unemployed," the study said. "But the situation facing American workers today goes well beyond historical norms."
Now, the average unemployed American spends about five months without a job, and there are three states -- Florida, Illinois, and Nevada -- in which more than half of the unemployed have been so for more than six months.
This information comes even after preliminary jobs numbers suggest that the state gained 113,000 jobs in 2011
-- even with the gains, the state's 9.9 percent unemployment rate is far above the national average of 8.5 percent and is tied for sixth-worst in the nation.