I believe your statement as well. Of course those figures are based on percent currently taking government hand outs. So then it begs the question, did society become more willing to take those hand outs? Did all of those jobs vaporize? Or is it a combination of the 2? What is the precise point between recession and not recession?
Job loss or lack of creation can't be the sole factor in determining such. The economy could be "booming", and I can still lay off a bunch of employees to finance some more efficient machine or process. My business could be perfectly healthy and I just find intermodal shipping, internet sales, robotics, Lean/JIT/5S, or other automation could eliminate many workers.
Whether they choose to get on the govt handout train aka unemployment, or not, might be up to them, even if other opportunities are available. So that model isn't completely accurate. Conversely, it doesn't include under employed, those who are still looking but ran out of 99wk benefits, or those who just gave up and went under ground. Since the numbers aren't available, it leaves a lot up to personal interpretation of their immediate surroundings. So we end up with widely conflicting reports of if the recession exists or not, because no one has a clear definition of what it even is.
It has also been an overused excuse for both employers and "job seekers". Every slacker out there now uses it as a casual excuse to justify staying at home or excuses his performance-based termination on the "recession", and every employer uses it as an excuse for wage cuts, freezes, lack of maintenance, or what ever else is convenient at the time.