For a dozen states in America, the 2000s have been a bust in terms of employment.
For some states (see chart at left for complete list), the job bust has lasted just over a decade. The last time California and Delaware had so few workers on the job, people were worried about Y2K (late 1999).
The states are a varied lot. They come from the West (California) and the East (Delaware), the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin) and the South (Alabama). They are rich (Massachusetts) and poor (West Virginia). Large and small.
Across the whole country, workers' climb out of the great recession looks to be long and arduous. But for workers in these states, the first hurdle will simply be reaching the employment levels they had a decade or two ago.