***Note---This post has been updated to include year end 2008 Data, Click here to read****
One of the largest sources of unemployed workers in the last 4 years has been the auto industry. If you look at Ford Motor Company's employee headcount, you'll see that it has fallen from ~300,000 employees in 2005 to 224,000 at the end of Q3-2008. That's a decrease of over 25% in less than 3 years. And it also trickles into the supplier base, and dealer base as well.
If you look at where those workforce changes have come from, you'll find that a few business units have actually grown their employee base since 2004. Specifically, Ford of South America has grown from 12 thousand strong to 15 thousand, and Ford of Europe has grown its workforce by 6%.
Overall, Ford has dropped 24% of its workforce since 2004---With the Premier Automotive Group (PAG--The luxury car group) dropping by 51%, and Ford Credit dropping by 44%, and Ford North America down by 42 thousand people, or a 33% drop.
Source: Ford Motor Company 10-K filings and Investor Presentations & http://unemploymentadvice.blogspot.com analysis.