Felix Salmon helpfully summarizes the unemployment numbers:
The unemployment rate is now 8.5%, which is very bad, and is up sharply from 5.1% a year ago. But just check out U6, the broad measure of underemployement: people who want to get more work than they’ve got, but can’t find it. A year ago three months into the recession it stood at 9.3%. Today, it’s risen all the way to 16.2% an increase of 6.9 percentage points and no one thinks it’s peaked yet. There are now 9 million “involuntary part-time workers” in America, and rising; these people are, as a rule, spending as little as they possibly can.