We expect high unemployment during a crash, but
the steep job losses during this recession should not be looked at in isolation.
They are the continuation and intensification of a trend that began in the 1990s, and really took off with the 2001 recession.
The trend is that of subpar job growth during economic expansion, and intensified job losses during recessions.
In short, the employment losses during this recession are not special.
Rather, they are the continuation of a trend caused by the ongoing, chronic trade deficit, most particularly the offshoring of employment.