Indeed the loss of jobs have been going on for a very long time.
I feel like I'm at the tip of the spear on this subject. I'm from Michigan and we have been hemoraging since 2001. It's been 7 years now of unfathonable job losses. No State has had this poor of an economy and been in a 'recession' this long since the Great Depression.
From the University of Michigan's Economic website (published in 2005) they state: "Over the past five years, Michigan's economy has lost a total of 308,900 jobs and will lose another 9,600 jobs in 2006. The state's manufacturing workforce has declined by about 25 percent during this time and will lose another 28,600 jobs in the next two years."
It's been three years since the information was shared and it's gotten far worse than what they projected.
For the last several years you could (can not) turn on the telivision without hearing of some company/plant laying off between 150-2000 employees by the end of the month. Day after day after day after day, thousands and tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of Michigan people are now without work.
There is a mass evacuation out of State to try and find work, sometimes completely abandoning homes without any hope of ever selling them; even at a horrid loss.
This week it was announced that in Benton Harbor, Michigan (The World Headquarters for Whirlpool Corporation) that Whirlpool will be laying off 5,000 people.
So, when New York is shocked at 50 people loosing their jobs. Well, it's sort of like telling a starving African child that you only got 4 candy bars to eat between meals today.