Last week, the Labor Department reported that non-farm payrolls (jobs) decreased by 11,000 in November - the smallest decline since the recession began at the close of 2007. Temp-agency employment surged 52.4 k in November, the largest surge for 5 years; this metric is a quite reliable forward-looking indicator. These number are definitely positive but let's wait their confirmation in December and if they are not just part-time employees hired for the season's shopping.
Today's chart puts that decline into perspective by comparing job losses during the current economic recession (solid red line) to that of the last recession (dashed gold line) and the average recession from 1950-2006 (dashed blue line). As today's chart illustrates, the current job market has suffered losses that are more than triple as much as what occurs at the lows of the average recession/job loss cycle.
Chart of the Day
Bureau of Labor Statistics