Check out this animation (via Daring Fireball) of how the unemployment situation has deteriorated over the last couple years.
It looks like the plague spreading, pretty scary.
The coloring is skewing your perceptions a little, though. My brain tends to watch how the brightness changes instead of the hue differences, but watch it and look at the scale. From 0% to 5.9% the brightness is roughly the same, but above that it tanks, implying a drop off a cliff.
In real life, going from 5.9% to 10% unemployment means another 4 people out of 100 are out of work. This is obviously not a good thing, but not the catastrophic death implied by the blackness of the picture.
Can somebody explain to me what makes Nebraska so special?