It’s official. The United States economy has been in a recession for roughly one year. According to a statement from the National Bureau of Economic Research:
…a peak in economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in December 2007. The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in November 2001 and the beginning of a recession. The expansion lasted 73 months; the previous expansion of the 1990s lasted 120 months… A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.
The Wall Street Journal notes that, if the recession lasts beyond April 2009, it will be the longest recession since the Great Depression. The 1990-1991 and 2000-2001 economic downturns lasted 8 months apiece, and the major downturns in the 1970s and 1980s lasted 16 months apiece. The good news is that we’re already 12 months in, so hopefully things will start looking up soon. Until then, I hope you have a recession-proof job.