Reader Tim Wallace supplied an interesting set of graphs and comments on unemployment claims, the labor force, and employees covered by unemployment insurance.
Unemployment Claims Not Seasonally Adjusted
click on any chart for sharper image
Data for the above chart: http://www.ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/claims.aspUnemployment Benefits
The above chart shows the number of employees that are covered by unemployment benefits. The implication is 11 years of lost jobs almost all of it in the last three years.
The next chart shows that we need to add 17,598,279 to the work force with unemployment benefits coverage just to get back to equivalent coverage of 2001! Civilian Working Age Population
Data for the above chart: http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab1.htm
This chart straight from the BLS shows that the number of people of of working age continues to grow. Working age population grew by 28 million since 2001 and 9.4 million since 2008 alone. However, the number of people eligible for benefits is actually 911,000 lower than in 2001. Percentage of Labor Force Covered by Benefits
The above chart divides the number of people in benefits producing jobs as shown by the Department of Labor report by the number of people in the age appropriate to labor from the