Kathryn Dominguez is a Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and a Professor of Economics, College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
The good news is the Great Recession is less severe than the Great Depression that we all remember from the 1930's. That was a very deep recession, both in the United States and across the globe.
Obviously, there are many people still unemployed. Businesses have not gotten back to the levels of production that they were at in 2006, 2007. So one of the unusual aspects of the most recent Great Recession is the global nature of the recession.
The U.S. economy looked like it was on board to sort of really move out of its recession in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and in each of those years, we got negative news from Europe that seemed to slow down the U.S. recovery.
One of the features of the recovery has been a very slow recovery in employment, especially for young people, as well as older workers, and for both of those groups, unemployment has a very negative impact. Evidence suggests that if you don't have a good start to your employment history, that it's very hard to get back on track.
One of the big worries for economists is whether or not this will remain a jobless recovery. Our hope is that as the recovery continues, both in the United States and in Europe, that we'll start to see declines in unemployment. We just got some good numbers that unemployment rates in the United States are coming down.
The recovery has basically been not so dissimilar from what we have seen in the last few recessions. We're slowly moving back onto a similar trend line as we had prior to 2008.