Recession ended in 2009, but many still feel the effects

by Shannon Harris on September 22, 2010

Although it might not feel like it for many Americans still struggling to make ends meet, a new report released this week indicates that the recession is over and has been since June of last year.

That's the assessment of the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, which found that the recession lasted 18 months (beginning in December 2007 and ending June 2009) making it the longest period of recession on record.

The group was quick to point out that their statement does not mean economic situations have improved on a steady basis. Instead, it says June 2009 began the start of a "rising phase
of the business cycle," and said economic activity could remain low throughout the phase.

If the economy starts to fall continuously once again, the NBER said this would be classified as a new recession rather than a continuation of the one that began at the end of 2007.

President Barack Obama was hesitant to paint a rosey picture of the economy, despite the news from the NEBR.

"Even though economists may say that the recession officially ended last year, for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who've seen their home values decline, people who are struggling to pay the bills day to day, it's still very real for them," he said at a townhall event at Washington D.C.'s Newseum hosted by CNBC.

Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University economic professor and member of the NBER, echoed Obama's statements in an interview with Bloomberg Televsion's InBusiness with Margaret Brennan. In it he said the economy was currently in a "holding pattern" and said there is a 30 percent chance the economy will fall back into a recession.

Even if the recession has been over for more than a year, the effects are sure to be long lived.

A report earlier this month from the U.S. Census Bureau stated that the poverty rate in the country rose to 14.3 percent in 2009, an increase from 13.2 percent the year prior. At the same time, the number of people without health insurance grew from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million last year. This means 16.7 percent of the population lives without health coverage.

Previous post:

Next post: