According to the US Mint, a dismal 3,548,000,000 circulating 2009-dated coins were struck last year. That is the lowest mintages in decades. Of that number, roughly 1.83 billion were produced at the Mint's facility in Denver and 1.72 billion in Philadelphia.
With the country still deep in a recession through all of last year, unemployment grew from 7.7% in January of 2009 to 10% by the end of the year - a mark not attained since the early 80's. As more people were out of work and those still employed tried their best to hold onto their money, retail sales plummeted.
As transactions declined, so did the need for change. Further, masses of people were scrounging their homes for every last coin to help pay bills. Old coins quickly found their way into circulation, with inventories building up at banks. They, in turn, ordered fewer new coins.