The Great Recession Ten Years On
William J. Barclay, 2019
June 2019 marked ten years since the official end of the Great Recession. Of course, declaring the ends (and beginnings) of recessions is rather arbitrary and always done in retrospect. It was not until September 2010 that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared that what became known as the Great Recession had ended in June 2009. The same body determined the Great Recession began in December 2007, but did not make that call until a year later, in December 2008.
The Great Recession was the deepest and longest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and books and papers analyzing the event are legion. Ushered in by the financial crisis of 200-2007, the Great Recession featured high unemployment, housing foreclosures, GDP downturns, government interventions aimed at countering the downward spiral, and more. However, less attention has been paid to the structure and functioning of the economy in the years that followed, and the long shadow of the Great Recession is still with us a decade later—particularly in the ways that the crisis changed, or failed to change, the U.S. economy.
There are three striking features of the American economy that have emerged in the past decade—two that are new and one that is a reincarnation of an already established trend: