Paul Krugman blogged over the holiday about this point and illustrated his analysis with data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
The illustration shows that when economic growth is negative, unemployment shoots up. When economic growth is strong (in the neighborhood of 3.5 to 5% on an annual basis) then the unemployment rate will slowly reduce. My conclusion is that based on the low levels of growth projected in 2011 and without significant stimulus from government spending the unemployment rate will stay very high. The tiny stimulative effect of the tax changes signed into law could be overwhelmed by state and local cutbacks and federal reductions in spending. While cutbacks may make good political theatre, they endanger the tepid recovery from the very traumatic events of 2008 and the housing and financial bubbles.