The National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiters of whether or not the United States is in a recession, finally called it yesterday. That’s not terribly newsworthy considering that everyone knew we were in a recession already.
What’s interesting is that they designated the official recession start date as December 2007, a full year ago. This means that (assuming that the recession didn’t end months ago, which seems pretty safe) this is the longest recession since the 16-month long downturn beginning in July 1981.
Now that we have a start date, we can compare unemployment trends during the current recession to those of recessions past.