This study evaluates the long-term cost of unemployment in Finland by focusing on the deep recession period of the early 1990s. The number of plant closures increased sharply during the recession and the unemployment rate rose by more than 13 percentage points. In the analysis, prime working-age men who face unemployment due to plant closure are matched to those who remained employed during the recession. The average e ect of being unemployed during the recession is estimated for a 6 year follow-up period. After 6 years, there is a 25% annual earnings penalty for being unemployed. Months in employment recover steadily after the recession but are still 10% lower after 6 years. The estimated wage loss is 14%.