The latest unemployment data from the Department of Labor shows that the U.S. economy continues to shed jobs. The graph below shows total employment.
The labor force participation rate has dropped from 66.5% in December 2008 to 64.6% in December 2009. As people lost jobs, many left the labor force. If they had stayed in, being counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate would be 11.6%.
Since the high of 146,483,000 in November of 2007, the U.S. economy has lost 8,691.000 jobs and there is no reason to believe that we have hit bottom yet. That number dwarfs the slightly more than 2 million jobs lost in 1981-1983.
Previous post here. Data are from here.