Then after looking at that, I have put the same national recession data on top of the local comparable data. The way I would interpret these graphs is that the cumulative 'pain' of a recession is not just the overall level of job loss, but also how long it lasted. So think about the area underneath those graph lines to compare the different periods and geographies. In other words think the integral. Beyond that, I will let the graph speak for itself. You can click on the image to get a larger version.