The report from a group of economists that the recession is over – in fact has been over for a year now – brought a rude confrontation with reality. It doesn’t feel like the recession is over as millions of people are still out of work. Reaction around the country was quite strong. Who do these people think they are making such a pronouncement when the facts tend to show otherwise! But, then reality sets in. The economic term “recession” has a technical definition that goes something like this: two consecutive quarters of decrease in the gross domestic product (GDP).
Of course, it is a little more complicated than that, but that’s the reality of the thing. For over a year we have had increases in the GDP and even though those increases have been very small, it means that technically the recession is over. Americans have been under the illusion of continued prosperity and economic growth for many years. Coming to grips with the reality of a jobless recovery is a harsh experience indeed. From my perspective, reality really isn’t much fun in this case. There will be no quick return to widespread prosperity.