It has been eleven years since the Great Recession, an event which nearly crippled the American economy and had serious impacts on employment and housing. The Recession had a number of causes, including a lack of regulation in the banking industry. How far has the US economy recovered?
In 2009, a year after the Recession, unemployment was at nine point seven percent. As of 2019, it is three point eight percent. Millennials, the demographic born between 1981 to 1996, suffered particularly during the Recession and its aftermath. Many Millennials put off buying a home and make less money than their own parents. In fact, those in this age group make twenty percent less money than the former generation known as Baby Boomers. They are also in debt due to credit cards and student loans.
However, things are looking up for this group. Youth unemployment, while still worrying, has gone down. In April 2010, youth unemployment was at nineteen percent. As of 2019, it is at nine percent.
The gross domestic product for the United States is at two to three percent which economists consider healthy. However, there are still challenges ahead.
While unemployment is lower than it has been in past years, youth unemployment has not changed substantially in a year and in January it increased from a low of eight point one percent in 2018 to nine point one percent. In addition, much job growth has been in low paying jobs such as retail or food service.
Another troubling sign is the high number of companies which are having layoffs or closing down entirely. Ford is expected to lay off an “undisclosed” number of people and they are not alone. New York Media cut 2300 jobs. BuzzFeed, Verizon, Vice Media, McClatchy company, Machinima, and Gannett also experienced layoffs. So did many biotech companies located in California. Audro Biotech, a California based biotech company, cut thirty-seven percent of its work force.In 2017 and 2018, a number of retail companies went under. These included such familiar companies as Sears and Toys-R-Us.
While the US economy is rebuilding from the low point of the mid 2010’s, it is still not as healthy or strong as it could be. Economists expect the American economy to fully recover by 2020.