1. Direckshun is correct; PrisonBitch's source was flawed. Direckshun used reputable journalistic sources in his OP (albeit mostly ones with a liberal bent).
2. The Great Depression is not the only reference we have to look back on. The energy crises of the late '70s, the post-Civil War problems, and the Panic of 1837 come to mind.
3. That said, I think this has a pretty good case to be the "Second Worst", given if nothing else its longevity.
4. I don't buy the concept that the uptick from 17.8% unemployment to 17.9% unemployment is due to the fact that more people have entered the job force. Math tells us that in order for that to result in an increase in unemployment, some of those people (more than 17.8% of them, in fact) had to have entered the job force while being unemployed - which logically means they hadn't really entered the job force. I think it's just a garden variety upturn - and hopefully an isolated one.
5. I admit I haven't kept up on the "people leaving the work force" argument, but as it's almost exclusively championed by the super-far Obama-hatin' right, I suspect that it's them trying to find numbers to make it look like (or more like) Obama's recovery is a flop. This is hunch rather than deduction, but it smells a lot like that Unskewed Polls baloney they tried to convince everyone of a few months ago. If I'm wrong, please school me.
6. There is no number six. That's about it.