A lot of American sites are looking at the issues of unemployment right now.
For example, there's some fascinating charts from Nathan at Flowing Data which show the impact across the nation, with US unemployment shooting up by four percentage points from 5.8% to 9.8% between 2008 and 2009 (doubleclick to enlarge):
Bearing in mind this does not include part-time workers or those who have given up looking for work, the actual rate is probably more like 25% according to Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary at the Treasury, and economist John Williams at Shadowstats:
That's as high as unemployment was back in the days of the Great Depression.
Seeking Alpha notes that even with the top-line rate at 9.8% in September, it's now gone up to 10.2% and picks a few choice quotes with the best of the bunch being:
"Currently, we don’t think it will get to 10 percent. Our current number is somewhere in the 9s."
Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve testifying before Congress’s joint economic committee, May 5th 2009
The Big Picture published a few unemployment charts too. These show
that those folks unemployed for more than 27 weeks are the highest
post-War rates ever.
Meanwhile, Calculated Risk added their two-penneth by showing that this recession is deeper than any since 1948:
All of this results in Jake at Econompic worrying about America's productivity, as the hours worked per civilian are nose-diving:
Whilst the New York Times provides interactive graphics that can show you who is unemployed by race, gender and education:
All in all, it is no wonder that Flowing Data Nathan's younger sister said that his maps …
… "looks like the country is bleeding".