persistent levels of unemployment

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Roundhouse

Senior Member
Bengali
For some reason, "persistent levels of unemployment" is not widely used. I found only 4 entries in google news, and none of them are from the likes of NY times or the Guardian, etc. A significantly more popular phrasing is "persistent unemployment". See the image below from ngram. "Level" is like a vertical scale, low to high. I wonder if that is the problem: may be "persistent" and "level" does not work together. Should I replace it with "persistent unemployment"?



... the provision of longer benefit durations in regions of high unemployment creates long-term EI dependency among seasonal workers, which then results in persistent levels of unemployment in ...



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  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    There are always levels of unemployment. At any given moment, there will never be 100% employment. The difference is whether they are high or low or medium or whatever. So you have to qualify those levels to make your meaning clear.

    A persistent level of 0.5% might not be worth spending any time (or money) on.

    I would probably say "persistently high levels of unemployment" (assuming that's what you mean) in that context.

    In a newspaper, I might just say persistently high unemployment because, unlike your context, it's not about comparing levels in a more rigorous way.
     

    Roundhouse

    Senior Member
    Bengali
    There are always levels of unemployment. At any given moment, there will never be 100% employment. The difference is whether they are high or low or medium or whatever. So you have to qualify those levels to make your meaning clear.

    A persistent level of 0.5% might not be worth spending any time (or money) on.

    I would probably say "persistently high levels of unemployment" (assuming that's what you mean) in that context.

    In a newspaper, I might just say persistently high unemployment because, unlike your context, it's not about comparing levels in a more rigorous way.
    Kentix, this really helps. Thank you. I used "persistently high levels of unemployment".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    For some reason, "persistent levels of unemployment" is not widely used.
    That is because the subject is somewhat specialised and thus infrequent. A persistent level of unemployment might be 5% but could be any figure at all - this could then be accepted as a base line from which trends can be identified.
    I used "persistently high levels of unemployment".
    "High" now removes the lower levels from consideration and, depending on context and expectations, gives an indication that the writer wishes to reduce this level.. Of course, what is high and what is low is relative.
     
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    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I agree. 'Levels' is a perfectly normal word to use here (as is 'persistent', if it comes to that). 'Persistent levels of unemployment' is fine too: if they had wanted to specify 'high/low', they would have.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This is Roundhouse's thesis he/she is writing (I believe). So Roundhouse is the author.

    Based on previous questions, I understand that Roundhouse is making a case for modifying the current system and one impetus for that is, I presume, the fact that the current system promotes (for lack of a better word) behavior patterns that result in persistently high unemployment in these specific groups. If there was a persistently low level I don't think that would be an argument to change the system. So if high is meant, I think high should be said. (But that's Roundhouse's call.)

    (I'm saying the above based on many previous, related questions from Roundhouse.)

    Edited to clarify thoughts.
     
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    Roundhouse

    Senior Member
    Bengali
    This is Roundhouse's thesis he/she is writing (I believe). So Roundhouse is the author.

    Based on previous questions, I understand that Roundhouse is making a case for modifying the current system and one impetus for that is, I presume, the fact that the current system promotes (for lack of a better word) behavior patterns that result in persistently high unemployment in these specific groups. If there was a persistently low level I don't think that would be an argument to change the system. So if high is meant, I think high should be said. (But that's Roundhouse's call.)

    (I'm saying the above based on many previous, related questions from Roundhouse.)

    Edited to clarify thoughts.
    You are spot on Kentix, I apologize to all (@PaulQ and @london calling) for not clearly stating that this was written by me. I should have clarified the intended meaning for using "high" in the sentence. I will keep this in mind for next time. :)
     
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