Unemployment

Here’s is Calculated Risk’s version of the scariest chart. It shows the change in employment as a percent since the peak employment near the beginning of the recession; for this recession, that’s Dec 2007. Don’t forget that the years up to 2007 weren’t particularly good as there was no net gain of jobs in spite of increasing population.
Inflation is at 2.2% which is lower then usual.
The dotted line is employment with the census workers taken out.

Employment an Recessions May 20101

Job losses and consumer spending

Is the past prelude? Here’s a comparison of job losses in all the post-WW2 recessions. Note how bad the slope is for the current recession. Be careful though, these are absolute numbers and not relative to population.
Job losses
And here is the change in consumer spending over the past 50 years smoothed to six months — meaning some bad months have gotten smoothed over with the surrounding better months. Is this really the only the second time it’s gone negative in five decades? And that first time was only barely negative.
Consumer Spending