0% - 2.4%
2.5% - 4.9%
5.0% - 7.4%
7.5% - 9.9%
10.0% - 12.4%
12.5% - 14.9%
15.0% - 17.4%
17.5% - 19.9%
20.0% - 24.9%
25.0% - 29.9%
More than 30%
I definitely think unemployment for planners is higher than the general population. Just look at that relative job graph from indeed.com. It's probably going to get worse before it gets better: local government in many places has only been hit hard recently because of how long it takes tax revenues to trickle down; many, many projects have been already permitted and are waiting in the wings to be built, when the economy improves-- the planning for these projects has already been done; housing demand will be in the toilet until the foreclosure crisis finally burns itself out; and of course the real estate market itself needs to improve before demand for planners improves.
I am a current planning student in my third year, I have just started working (a casual position) with a private firm after about 8 months job hunting, actively networking and doing a spot here and there of short term contract work with a council and work experience.
Even in a city like Perth with mostly avoided the main impact of the GFC and is quite prosperous, jobs for planners, especially current students or recent undergrads are still quite short. I know many recent grads who have moved overseas for an extended holiday or have been forced to travel over two hours each way by car to work at some fringe towns near Perth- obviously not ideal for a profession which seeks to avoid excessive transit time in private vehicles!!
Basically, if you work in the private sector, in careers relating to the built envirnoment, you're experiencing much pain now. It doesn't matter whether you're a developer, sales, contractor, building engineer, planner or architect.
AIA estimates unemployment among architects to be 30-40%. I would think that unemployment among planner would be lower than that extreme, because municipalities and government are doing slightly less badly than the private sector clients who tend to hire architecture, but, still, unemployment will still be high relative to the economy as a whole.
This begs the question...where is viable place for us to look outside of planning?
I addressed a similar question last Fall, although it was more specific related to my personal situation (4 years, AICP, laid off, etc.). Surprisingly I earned a job offer only a month later in planning.
To answer your question, come up with a list of all the different job skills, especially transferrable skills. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is one resource that gives summaries on over 600 occupations, although there really isn't a guide to how to use it.
I mentioned in that thread that even if you DO manage to earn an interview in a completely-unrelated field, you are probably going to have some difficulty explaining HOW your planning education relates to the job AND how you can do the job better than anyone else. This is much more difficult when the interviewer is very unlikely to know anything about planning. It might mean going back to school in a different field. Despite the many different types of skills that can be used in other professions, it is an employers market in this awful recession so you really have to sell yourself even harder than you would in a planning interview.
Hope this helps-
"This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
"M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."