From Calculated Risk, this chart shows quite how bad the labour market in the US is right now. As a percentage of the population, the job losses following the 2008 recession were worse, and lasted longer, than any recession after World War II – although they were far, far better than the great depression:
The failure of the US labour market has led to many referring to the recovery seen in GDP figures as a "jobless recovery", and some commentators are concerned that a level of employment four per cent lower than previously may be the new eqilibrium. The reverse is true in the UK, where our recession led to a massive, prolonged, hit on GDP figures (worse this time than our own recession in the 1930s):
While not doing a huge amount, comparatively, to our labour market:
We don't have a jobless recovery, it appears, but recoveryless jobs.