Most talk on the terrible employment situation focuses on the unemployment rate. The jump from 6.5% to 6.7% doesn't really look that bad but this is really deceiving since it is really isn't a measure of the true picture. There was a reduction in the number of people who said they were looking for work which skews the numbers.
This chart shows the employment-population ratio, the ratio of employed Americans to the adult population. By this measure it’s been a weak economy all along — and now it’s falling off a cliff.