If only everyone in America had the same kind of job opportunities as Andrew Romanoff. Think about it: He actually turned down a job in the White House during the Great Recession to run for U.S. Senate, a six-year post that is far from an easy grab for him. Indeed, the job market is rather rough for those who’ve lost prior jobs, and those who don’t find work within six months face an even more difficult road, according to The Associated Press.

The proportion of people who are jobless for six months or more has risen in the past year and now constitutes nearly half of the unemployed—the highest percentage ever recorded (according to data that dates to 1948).

Part of the problem is that people who are out of work for an extended period may lose skills, confidence, and contacts, and be viewed as less employable. And the unemployment rate remains high: 9.7 percent in May.

The shaky economy is having an impact at universities and colleges across the nation, including the University of Colorado in Boulder. Even sage adults with seemingly strong resumes are returning to school, notes the Daily Camera. As of fall 2009, 1,947 students at CU-Boulder fit into the 25-to-30 age bracket, up 14 percent over two years. This past school year, the university accepted another 676 students who are 31 or older.