This article on CNN Money declares that the recession is over, and has been since June 2009. Lasting 18 months, it was the longest recession since the the Great Depression.
Something tells me that although technically speaking the economy is improving, it doesn’t seem like everyone is a-ok just yet.
For one thing, unemployment is still high: The national rate in August was 9.6%. The rate has hovered around that mark for the year.
In Allegheny County where I live, the rate was 7.2% in July. But in the state, there are more than 20 counties with rates higher than 10% — Cameron County is at 18.9%! And Pennsylvania is doing better than a lot of states.
There are still plenty of mortgage-holders who are underwater on their houses. Some of them will continue to make their payments and wait for their home values to recover (hopefully); others will decide it’s not worth it and will default.
Other people are staying in houses that they can’t really afford, but they know that they can’t sell now, either.
And let’s not forget all the consumer debt Americans have — credit cards, car loans, student loans, medical debt. It’s not pretty.
So while the economy may technically be on an upswing, I’m not holding my breath that we’ll all be seeing good financial times in the near future.
The massive debt problem, unemployment situation, and housing issue need to be resolved first.
What can we do? Continue living below our means. Stop borrowing money. Build up a healthy emergency fund. Don’t buy houses that are a stretch to afford. Pray.
Is the recession “over” where you are? How have the last few years treated you financially?