Personal Finance

Recession is Over … if You Want It?

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recession is overWe’ve heard of “jobless recoveries.” Now the U.S. is stuck in a job-killing recovery.

The Great Recession of 2007 ended in June 2009, according to a group of experts. But in the 15 months since then, the U.S. economy shed another 329,000 jobs. That leaves many Americans doubting the news.

“Is anyone really buying this?” one reader commented on the Los Angeles Times website in response to the news. “The recession is over? Yeah, right.”

The announcement comes from the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit group that is the Federal government’s official source for reporting macroeconomic trends including Gross Domestic Product.

When calculating a recession’s end date, the bureau considers things like industrial production and total economic output, both of which began a slow rebound in June 2009. The study does not consider unemployment, which remains at 9.6 percent.

Nor does the announcement mean that the economy regained the strength it had before the downturn began. Robert Hall, an economics professor at Stanford University who served on the committee, tracked online reactions to the report.

“At least half of them excoriate us for saying that the recession is over,” Hall told the L.A. Times. “But we are only saying that things started to get better in June 2009, not that times are good.”

Like many Americans, committee members agreed that this just doesn’t feel like a recovery.

“What’s really unique about this recession is the amount of unemployment in combination with the slowness of the recovery,” Robert J. Gordon, an economist at Northwestern University, told The New York Times. “That’s just not happened before.”


Chris Maag is a freelance journalist for publications including The New York Times, TIME magazine and Popular Mechanics. He graduated with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has worked as a staff writer for daily newspapers, monthly magazines, alt weeklies and websites. Maag writes about people with big dreams set on little stages, including a teenage girl who races jet-powered tractors, and people who make millions of dollars impersonating Barack Obama.

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  • http://tofilebankruptcyornot.com file bankruptcy

    I totally agree that the recession is not over. Even if it is by any economic standard, unless we see higher employment number, and the level of home inventory decreasing, and less and less people filing for bankruptcy, it just doesn’t make any logical sense that we should think that the recession is over. Either way, the economy is definitely not healthy and something needs to be done to correct this.

  • http://www.1-800BadCreditBlog.com Dewey Kearney

    I don’t believe it is anywhere over. If the GOP can pull off their new Contract with America by fulfilling their promises then it will start to rebound. If I owned a business that employed people I wouldn’t risk hiring new employees as long as the Fed’s were going to tax me at the rates they plan.

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