A Closer Look

Two Recessions and Recoveries in US – The trajectories side-by-side

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 was one of the deepest downturns of the U.S. economy since World War II. Triggered by crises in the housing and financial markets, the recession evokes memories of homes in foreclosure, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and bailouts for businesses in the auto, banking and financial sectors.

The subsequent expansion began in July 2009 and is now at 125 months and counting, making it the longest economic recovery dating back to the mid-19th century. Yet, homeownership and family wealth are struggling to rebound, and the presidential campaigns of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren manifest growing concern with economic inequities. A leading economist has labeled this an era of “secular stagnation.”

This is different from the more optimistic public mood of the 1990s, the only other time the U.S. experienced a decade-long economic expansion. Following a recession that coincided with the Gulf War of 1990-1991, the expansion sent the homeownership rate and family wealth on the way to record highs. Even as the public was witness to the dot-com bubble and the rise of AOL millionaires, the Occupy Wall Street movement would not emerge for another decade. Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, seemed to find the mood too buoyant, warning of “irrational exuberance.”

Scroll down as we examine the trajectories of the two recessions and recoveries, comparing them side-by-side.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Comparing two U.S. economic recessions, recoveries | Pew Research Center


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