...the program tackles broader labour market problems, such as shortages of skilled workers, prolonged periods of high unemployment, and ...
What I am trying to convey is that the unemployment rate stays quite high [say in some specific regions such as Atlantic Canada where most people are fishers and other seasonal workers; they don't find employment in some seasons of the year]
My original sentence had this: "prolonged periods of high unemployment". Someone told me that this would be a better way to explain it "persistently high levels of unemployment". They said the phrases have slightly different meaning, I however don't get the difference. Can someone explain the difference please?
Also, for some reason this sounds a bit off to me:
the program tackles broader labour market problems, such as shortages of skilled workers, persistently high levels of unemployment, and ...
Definitions from Collins:
Prolonged: (adj) A prolonged event or situation continues for a long time, or for longer than expected.
Persistent: (adj) Something that is persistent continues to exist or happen for a long time; used especially about bad or undesirable states or situations.