Employment data over the past three months indicates that the bottom of the recession in employment may have occurred in December. The two most important factors considered by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) for dating recessions are GDP and unemployment. GDP turned positive in the third quarter and employment appears to have turned up in January. That puts a bracket on the likely date for the official end to the Great Recession in the interval from July, 2009 to January, 2010.
The following graph shows the behavior of employment as reported by the Department of Labor (DOL) over the past 15 months.