From Calculated Risk
The current employment recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only the early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse).Not only the worst recession since WWII, but unique to this recession is that people with the longest duration of unemployment are having the most difficult time finding jobs. The labor market is weeding out the unemployable. The last significant recession was in '92 (not counting the tech boom/crash in '00, there wasn't significant unemployment outside the tech area). And since '92, the work place has changed significantly, plus people haven't kept up their skills.
We recently hired someone at work. Two people interviewed for the position. One a fresh masters degree graduate in a very quantitative field from a top ivy league university. And the other, someone with more work experience, more folksy, more a people person, with a family. We hire the first. He's more energetic, more ambitious, more focused.