The jobs picture is getting very scary out there. It looks like the current recession has almost wiped out all of the job growth since the last downturn in 2001. And current recession looks like it will continue for another year or so.
Recessions are generally defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in the gross domestic product (a measure of domestic production). But the recession dating committee from National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is adding more weight to employment numbers. According to the NBER the recession started in December 2007 when non farm payroll reached it's peak.
From, November 2001 (the end of the last downturn) to the beggining of the current recession, the US has added over 7 million jobs. Now the current recession has wiped out 6.5 millon jobs. It will pass 7 millon mark in the next two months if the average monthly loss (-330,000) jobs continues.