03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Severance Packages Provide False Sense Of Comfort

The long-term jobless rate hits its highest point on record. More than a third of those who are out of work have been looking for more than six months, making this category of unemployed the biggest since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it in 1948.

Overall, companies have been eliminating or trimming severance packages. For those who do receive severance, the median pay allotted is 12.5 weeks' salary, down from 21.8 weeks a decade ago, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.