"Length of Post-War Recessions & Employment Troughs"
The National Bureau of Economic Research - the private, nonprofit organization charged with dating business cycles - announced on Monday that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009. The NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee identifies the month of peaks and troughs in the business cycle, i.e. the beginning and end of recessions, by examining real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales. The committee typically makes the call anywhere from six to 18 months after the fact in order to wait for key data points to be revised. The Great Recession of 2007-09 lasted 18 months, the longest since the first down-leg of the Great Depression, which lasted 43 months between 1929 and 1933. Prior to 1990, employment began growing rapidly about the same time that recessions ended. The 1990-91 and 2001 recessions, however, were followed by so-called jobless recoveries during which employment languished at or near the bottom for a number of months after the recession ended. In the current cycle, employment bottomed in December 2009, six months after the recession ended, and has been growing slowly in 2010 at an average of 90,000 payroll jobs per month - about one-third the level necessary to bring down the unemployment rate. Overall, the announcement of an official end to the Great Recession is, if nothing else, a relief. For commercial real estate tenants and investors, this should provide a bit more certainty that the economy is indeed recovering even though it hasn't felt much like it. Robert Bach Senior Vice President, Chief Economist 312.698.6754Source: NBER, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Grubb & Ellis