The following chart is from the CalculatedRISK blog of November 8 http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/11/summary-and-look-ahead.html
I like this chart as it presents a relative depiction of Post WWII recession job losses. As one can see, our current period of economic weakness's job losses are outsized both in duration and severity:
(click on images to enlarge charts)
Here is a long-term view of the official stated Unemployment Rate. This chart is from the St. Louis Federal Reserve site. I find this chart interesting for many reasons. As one can see, our current official Unemployment Rate (U3) is second only to that of the early 80's. Also, one can see that although large spikes up in the Unemployment Rate are relatively common, in prior periods the spikes up were (relatively) quickly followed by a quick retreat:
I have written frequently about the Unemployment situation. These blog posts can be found under the "Unemployment" Category. For those interested, here are a couple of the latest posts:
Furthermore, I wrote a blog series titled "Why Aren't Companies Hiring?"
SPX at 1079.79 as this post is written