December 14th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Do you think the recession is over?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Depending on which member of the Obama administration you ask - the recession may or may not be over.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/06/art.want.ads.jpg caption=""]
There were mixed messages coming this weekend from some of the president's top economic aides.

Larry Summers, head of the National Economic Council, said: "Today, everybody agrees that the recession is over, and the question is what the pace of the expansion is going to be."

He pointed out the U.S. was losing 700,000 jobs a month when the president took office - and last month we lost 11,000 jobs. He says there should be job growth by spring.

But wait... When Christina Romer - head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers - was asked if the recession is over, she said: "Of course not. For the people on Main Street and throughout this country, they are still suffering." Romer says she won't say the recession is over until the unemployment rate is back to about five percent. Right now - it's at 10-percent.

The Obama administration is doing a balancing act here. On the one hand - they want to show optimism that the economy is recovering - after all, there is an election in November. But - they also want to appear sensitive to the difficult time that millions of Americans are still going through.

However, saying both these things at the same time is confusing.

Here’s my question to you: In light of mixed messages coming from the Obama administration, do you think the recession is over?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Gordon writes:
It may be "officially" over but it is not over for those suffering double-digit unemployment or reduced hours. Government data does not pay mortgages or buy Christmas presents. Everyone in my family has a job and for that I am grateful. What is the old saying: No economist ever worried about his or her next meal?

Mike from Denver writes:
When people can find jobs and loans, then come talk to me about the recession being over.

Tom from Maine writes:
Yes, Jack, by definition the recession is over, but we are still in the recovery process with jobs predictably being the last element to be restored. Obama being a working person's president says he won't rest until everyone who wants a job has one. Semantics don't count for much; character is worth a fortune.

H. from Phoenix writes:
Far from it, Jack. It would not surprise me if this is simply the calm before the next economic storm.

L.S. from Rochelle, Illinois writes:
Yeah, the recession is over. Now will someone explain to my brother why he can't find a job after being unemployed for 18 months.

Suzanne from Naperville, Illinois writes:
Recession over? 2 of my 7 children are facing foreclosure, no permanent jobs for 1 year. Both are parents, college grads, one even went to law school. I heard Larry Summers on Sunday and wondered what world he lives in!

Lori writes:
Jack, No. If it was over, would President Obama be having a meeting with top bank executives about lending to small businesses?

Paul writes:
When I get a job, then the recession will be over!

Don writes:
Because of the Tiger Woods scandal, the recession is finally over for all the comedians of America.

Filed under: Obama Administration • Recession
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    In a pig's eye...NO!

    December 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  2. David in San Diego

    No, it isn't officially "over" until we have completed consecutive two quarters of GDP growth–so we won't know about the quarter ending 31 December until final figures are in, perhaps six weeks later. However, I think GDP is going to be positive, and we will eventually conclude that the recession has ended

    December 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  3. John from Alabama

    Jack: The recession will over when the GNP increases at least 3 quarters in a row. Unemployment rate will not drop below 8% until January 2011. Rececession end before employment gets better. Wall Street bankers need to be forced to lower interest rates on credit cards, if they take large bonuses this year.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  4. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No Jack the recession is not over it's only just begun. Yes that is cynical of the lies that continue to come out of the politicians but until we have the opportunities to get good paying jobs that have benefits we will continue to move backwards. Some employers are taking advantage of the high unemployment by offering people jobs at very low pay because their are so many people going hungry.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  5. fred

    If Obama says it's over... it's over, period.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  6. Lou from North Carolina

    Not until the banks straighten and begin lending money to people who have good credit ratings and need money to run their businesses. Banks were so screwed up they now think everyone else is. Someone like WalMart needs to have lending privileges so we can get the country moving.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  7. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Being optimistic can't hurt, it's better that looking in the septic tank all the time.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  8. Joe M


    No! We have double digit unemployment, our national debt is sky rocketing out of control, and people are scared about their financial future. Until these underlying circumstances change, the recession will go on and on.

    Joe M (MN)

    December 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  9. J W

    For the top ten percent who earn and own the bulk of American wealth, yes. Recession is over. For the rest of us, the economic reverberations of these times will echo for another ten to twenty years in the form of inflation, prices, interest rates, energy costs, monetyary policy, pensions, job availability, and anything to do with acquiring the basic needs of life.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  10. william fitzwater

    one word on. I think sadly this is what is called a "jobless" recovery because companies have shed headcount and are happy iwht the results. Until there is a need for people employers will be reluctant to add people.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  11. Paul

    The recession is still out there, its only taking a holiday nap. I'm sure come Easter it will rise again.


    Charlotte, NC

    December 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  12. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Absolutely NOT. For anyone to become so optimistic because there were only 11,000 more jobs lost is insane. The massive monthly lay offs have to slow down some time. Unemployment numbers are unrealistic of what is actually happening. Some have given up looking and their benefits have expired, while many of the ones lucky enough to have a job are working less hours with pay cuts. The official unemployment numbers are lower than reality.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  13. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Larry Summers is speaking for bankers and speculators, for whom the recession ended when our tax money went to reward them for their misadventures. For the rest of us however, we are still suffering for 8 years of Republicans soaking the middle class in favor of the very wealthy. This won't change until wake up to this fiasco.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  14. Loren, Chicago

    No. The US jobs data does not give an accurate picture of unemployment totals, given that it takes off the listings those who have been unemployed for any significant period. As there hasn't been any increased economic or industrial activity, the only fair conclusion that we can draw is that we may be entering a period of stagnation. Isn't that a wonderful thought.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  15. Mark, Bradenton, FL

    Recession Jack??? We are in a prolonged depression. With jobs being outsourced, two wars and this health care bill we will go into a super depression. Obama will lead us into a cataclysmic disaster.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  16. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Absolutely not. It is obvious that those who say it's over are not talking to those of us who can't find a job, are losing our houses, who are upside down on their mortgages, who are trying to pay off their medical bills because they can't afford insurance or can't afford their insurance companies. The "recovery" is like a three legged stool, with two legs missing; an extremely delicate balancing act that can fall down in a heartbeat. Larry Summers should know that the November numbers were seasonal and that the job market needs to add 100,000 jobs a month to stay even, any growth would be on top of that. It's going to be a long time before we see 5% unemployment again and if the market heads south in 2010 as many are forecasting, this recession will last into 2011.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  17. Peg from NY

    If this recession is over I am a 20 year old natural blonde with a well paying job, no college loans, own a home, have never been ill and have saved money since the day I was born.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  18. Gary H. Boyd

    No Jack, it's not. I'll know it's over when 4 things happen: (1) Our oldest son buys his first new car. (2) Our middle son buys his first house and moves out. (3) Our youngest son takes an overdue vacation. And, finally, I can take my wife to the local casino without feeling guilty.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    December 14, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  19. Debbie, IL

    I'm trying to be optimistic, but my husband was just laid off from Verizon Business after 22 years. They laid off 7500 people, most in their late 40's or early 50's with many years of service. He was told the day before Thanksgiving, and his last day is Christmas. I still believe in Obama, but he needs to make some serious progress with getting people back to work!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  20. Ethel, the Keys

    Hold on a minute, Jack. I'll be right with you as soon as I finish
    collecting all of the change that fell under the sofa cushions in 72'.


    December 14, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  21. Vinnie Vino


    Things are vastly better in our daily enconomic life then they were a year ago. However it has been a jobless recovery for millions and millions of poor American citizens living check to check. While the well to do Americans are benefiting from the improving economy...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  22. Amarjit singh Kalsi

    Hi Mr. Cafferty,
    Recession is always for the poor people. Rich ones always flourish in war or any kind of dissasters.Social Security departmet has sent letters to people stating that they will not get any raise this year because the prices did not go up. It is true for the rich only, it does not matter if they are damocrats or republicans .They are out of touch with the public and far...far away from reallity. They are very good at making simple things more comlicated so that people won't understand.
    Well we should change the words and replace them with :- Government of the rich and for the rich.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  23. Tony from Southport

    In this administration, the right hand doesn't know what the extreme left hand is doing. But it's like a bunch of school children on the playground; there's a kid who has earned the top spot and he has friends who put him there. He doesn't want the other kids to "de-throne" him, so he pretends to like them also. With a kid like that in charge, communication is often confusing and so they are not sure what to do or say. Therefore mixed messages are sent.

    Meanwhile, the kids are still kids and until an adult gives some smart direction, like in 2012, they will just keep playing kid's games.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  24. David Bakody Nova Scotia

    With 1 in 4 children living on food stamps (NYT) I think not.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Not only is it NOT over, we have yet to bottom out. We won't see any significant upturn before 2012.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  26. nardofree in virginia

    crackle- barrel, olive garden, and red lobster have people waiting in line to get a seat. you tell me if the recession is over. the movie theaters are still packed out on the weekend.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  27. Mode (PDX)

    It all depends on who you talk to, Jack. For the rich, the recession never really happened (insomuch their standard of living fell) whereas for the working poor, its more like a depression.

    I'm 33, have a four year degree and make between nine and thirteen dollars an hour. I've never been paid a living wage, despite having held several jobs with companies which did really well by their shareholders.

    The plain fact is, our economy needs to be destroyed and the rich need to be punished for their greed.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  28. Steve in Chula Vista, CA

    No – Until we can hire back those people we had to lay off the recession is not over. We can only hope it has hit the bottom and more small businesses in our area don't close their doors . When we start getting more orders we will feel like there is hope, right now we are just going day to day waiting for the phone to ring. We don't need the bank to loan us money we can't pay back, we need to sell our product to stay in business.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  29. CIncognito

    Recession over?! I do not listen to hand puppets for news regarding this. Over the last year I have watched the media go back and forth as to are we in a recession, do you think it will continue, it's over, what do you think, it's not over... Give me a break. You would have to be completely blind to not understand that it has only begun.
    No job=no $$=no spending.
    Every company that sent jobs from here in the USA to elsewhere has a hand in why the economy is where it is at and where it's going. What kind of moron decides to make more money for a select few by sending jobs out of the country? Extremely dumb and greedy ones.

    Look, it's not rocket science. People have to have a job and get paid to spend money on anything. If you no longer have a job then how are you supposed to have money to buy anything? No money flowing as in the past = recession. The recession, which imho will become the fiercest depression ever, will continue because there are no plans to produce enough here in the USA to turn the trend around. Even if there was a substantial trend of this kind it would take years to get it back on "track".

    Isn't the free market great? Thanks to all the 1-5% of those who hold 95% of the wealth. Shipping our jobs overseas was the death of the US as an economic heavyweight. Great exchange, for a little more profit for "investors" the entire system got flushed down the toilet.

    The war on terrorism ™ will finish us off economically and mentally and then dollar will tank forever. You think we're in a recession? Not to say that the sky is falling, but I think that you haven't seen anything yet. Why? Because I'm not dumb enough to delude myself that the greed will magically vanish.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  30. Karen, Idaho Falls

    Dear Jack,

    Yes, the recession is over and we have moved swiftly into a depression for most Americans. Only those on Wall Street and in Politics (who have never lived like Main Street Americans) think there is expansion on the horizon. For the rest of us there are no jobs, no affordable health care, no affordable housing, and no money. Who are they trying to kid?

    December 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  31. Dan in Capitola CA

    I have worked 3 months out of the last 18, Jack. You KNOW what I think...I hope Obama got through to the clueless bankers today. It's taxpayer money that saved their bacon so cut out the 'performance' bonuses and start lending! I would bet Summers got called on the carpet for his over-the-top assertion.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  32. Tina Tx

    No not until all my friends have a job that pays decent enough to live on and that is not looking too rosy. You go to college and still can't find decent job. What a sad state America is becoming.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  33. Jill

    From the economist's perspective, yes.
    From the average Joe's perspective, no.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  34. Conor in Chicago

    This recession is never going to end. The wealth of the world has been hijacked and even the Obama Administration can't get it back, presuming they want to. This is the new normal-lay down and take people.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  35. steve in virginia

    We're in a Clinton recovery aka recovery that is predictably temporary. Any current improvement will not be sustainable until and unless the government is able and willing to acknowledge then fix each of the many underlying causes of our current mess instead of massive spending on overpriced and underachieving programs to adress the symptoms while ignoring the causes. And so far neither party has shown signs of willingness to acknowledge anything they can't blame on the other. Obama is even worse- he won't acknowledge anything he can't specifically blame on Bush even though some of the problems such as illegal aliens and bad trade policies have been building for almost 40 years. Things won't get better until the government is controlled either by true independents or our citizens.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  36. Len Shikowitz

    I sent the following to Tim Geithner:

    "Dear Mr. Geithner and associates,

    To put it colloquially, it seems to me that, regarding the banks you've just bailed out, you're watching the front door, while the really nasty activity is now occurring at the back door:

    For as long as I can remember (I'm 64 years old) there has been a loose correlation of the prime rate and the short term CD rates – the rate at which banks BORROW money from me. The spread was typically no more than 1 point, prime rate higher than CD rate.

    Nine months ago, I opened a 9 month CD with BofA at 2.25%. At that time, the prime rate was 3.25%.

    Today, the prime rate is once again (still) 3.25% – and BofA is "offering" to renew with identical terms and amount (I withdrew the interest monthly) at 0.65%! Review of the rates being offered by myriad other banks yielded strikingly similar offerings for the same short term product.

    Please explain, how during this period of unbelievable stress on "Main Street"/"the little guy"/ME – and right at the time BofA has repaid its TARP loan in full, and sold off First Republic Bank – with the Department of the Treasury purportedly watching the banks "like hawks", these banks can blatantly behave so rapaciously and cavalierly.

    Perhaps you folks could elicit an explanation from Mr. Lewis, or Mr. Kelly, or whoever winds up in the BofA CEO's seat, as well as the CEOs of the other major players?

    Your detailed, specific response will be greatly appreciated.


    Len Shikowitz (A taxpayer since before POTUS was born)"

    December 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  37. Rob in NC

    I would have to side with Romer. I don't know how anyone can say a recession is over when 10% – at least- of the country is out of work. Especially when some people have been looking for 18 months or more. Rob in NC

    December 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  38. Susan Frost

    It depends on whether or not you're a Wall Street banker.


    December 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  39. ed schleker

    Not yet - but when the banks etc get over themselvs and stop
    getting in the way of reform and work to finance thier borrowers
    things will get better.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  40. Darren

    If job growth the last indicator of a recession turning around and we're still losing jobs but just not as fast as before, then technically we're still in Bush's Great Recession.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  41. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    I believe it is now winding down. I don't understand why we have to split hairs like this. Romer didn't say anything contradictory to Summers remarks. Are you really listening to what is being said? YES the economy is recovering, but we are not there yet. That's exactly what has been said all along. Mixed? I don't think so. Seems pretty clear to me.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  42. southerncousin

    As Obama and the liberals are discovering, it takes more effort, money and time to talk the economy up than to bring it down which they did so successfully during the campaign. And now they have gotten themselves in such a fix with all of the spending, they really just don't have a clue. What is really sad is that they never did. Liberals will destroy anything, but cannot fix anything.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  43. Sherri-Illinois

    It MAYBE over for WallStreet but its not over for MainStreet USA as long as there are over 15 MILLION (the TRUE number) unemployed in this country looking for JOBS JOBS JOBS! I've been unemployed for 14 mos with a Temp job inbetween and its nothing out there Jack! The President made empty promises about that $787 Billion stimulus package but I'm grateful for the extended unemployment benefits. 37 MILLION American on Food Stamps???? No Jack! The Recession is not over.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  44. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    Haven't heard enough of people who does not get it today!

    Take care!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  45. Lil Me

    I don't hear anyone singing "Happy Days are here again" yet and as the saying goes, it ain't over til the pleasantly plump lady sings.

    LiL Mel, Phoenix, Arizona

    December 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  46. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    when I heard Larry "Let Them Eat Cake" Summers say ""Today, everybody agrees that the recession is over" Sunday, I almost choked on my coffee. he and the other out of touch Wall Street insider fools in the Obama administration need to come to my home town of Las Vegas and check things out. we have 13%+ unemployment, the worst housing market in the country and NO sign of recovery.

    my wife and I voted for Obama in 2008 BUT after his demonstrated "stupidity in staffing" on the economic side of his administration, I doubt we will again IF he runs in 2012.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  47. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    Christine Romer was brutally frank but was also right when she answered the question on whether the recession is over or not.

    If you're living in Washington DC the answer is always, YES, it's over. But this is not the real world. It's a Government Town, Disneyland East!..... And with all the insanity that goes with it – including, extravacant home prices and the "military industrial complex"

    But the rest of the country is way behind the power curve and in my view it will be another 2 years before we get back to some reasonable economic stability. With 5+ years of stagnant wages in the middle class and escalating prices on goods and services maybe not even then.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  48. Annie, Atlanta

    Not in my house. Our small business is struggling because Wall Street destroyed our economy. But they’re still gambling, keeping their winnings and coming to us for handouts when they lose. Hey, where do I sign up for that deal?

    December 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  49. Luci - Pekin, IL.

    Yes it is much better than a year ago when the Party of NO was still in charge.
    Jobs were shipped out of this Country beginning when Reagon, Bush 1, and Bush 2, were President.
    We will never get the jobs back again, so put the blame on the ones that started all of this crap.
    Give our President more than a year, to get 20 years of their getting rid of our jobs, started again.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  50. Jimmy in Houston, TX

    No and I think the mixed messages are a sign of incompetence. This is the most wishy washy administration that is trying to please everyone instead of just concentrating on doing a good job and letting the results speak for themselves. Jobs aren't created by spending billions of dollars on more pork filled projects.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  51. Lee Hayes

    Health Care Form

    Why is there not a National Referendum on Healthcare Reform ?

    Let the people vote on whether they want ...a Public Option...?
    Medicare for 55 or older...? No changes.....? Why do these " Fat Cat "
    politicians always make these decisions on our behalf or in our best
    interest ? I believe in the Capitalist philosophy......you can make a profit on cars.....household items.. but not a profit on Healthcare.....for human Beings....Let the People Vote for it.....let them directly make the decision ...

    December 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  52. bluegrass

    jack, it is like this, if you have a job, can make your mortgage/rent notes, and shop for christmas gifts,put foo on the table, and clothes on your back, the recession is over. if, on the other hand, you are among the 10 million unemployed, can't make your mortgage/rent notes, are not christmas shopping, don't kno where yor next meal is coming from and need clothes, then no, the recession is still on.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  53. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    The recession is over. The economy is recovering, but the road to 5% unemployment will take longer than any of us would prefer.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  54. Chandra in Las Vegas, NV

    No, and I am still working, though earning 1/2 of what I earned last year and next year is looking like it will be 1/2 again.........so NO, the recession isn't over until my salary and hours recover, regardless of the nice speeches trying to make us feel better. My bank account is the indicator.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  55. RichP the Pocono's

    Not according to our accountants and lawyers it's not, otherwise we would be building that new 380,000sqft building we need along with an additional 100 to 120 new employees. Now, if congress and the Senate were do adjourn for 8 months we might pull the trigger on the new site but while they are in session even your sheep are not safe.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  56. Terry R

    No probably not until late 10. We could use a cash for hires for medium and small companies similar to cas for clunkers.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  57. eric gregory

    As long as you keep printing money and getting further in debt everything appears rosey. Lets see what happens when the money machine gets turned off. Stop fooling around and give everyone a million dollars, after all its just a big ponzi scheme anyway.
    Eric in Alert Bay

    December 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  58. Judie W. El Lago

    Jack.........NO, I do not believe the recession is over, and doubt if it will be anytime soon. Until we regotiate trade agreements, mfgs. bring operations back to the U.S., somehow, someway create jobs that pay a decent wage, things will remain the same.

    The double edge sword is when the public changes their spending habits, items are not purchased and companies lay off workers...

    Certainly my children (adults) and grandchildren do not and will not experience the prosperity this country once had. We, as so many Americans, have done with less-budgeted more, and this will continue for a long time. Sad in that we never did "live large".

    December 14, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  59. Brian Smith PhD

    There is a message in what Romer says. Specifically, the recession won’t be over until the unemployment rate is back to about five percent. Over the last 20 years, systematically big business has been downsizing State-side payrolls for cheaper labor over seas. If unemployment moves back down to five percent, then that means big business will have to start paying those larger State-side payrolls that big business has been working so hard to reduce. Big business doesn’t want to lower State-side unemployment. If anything big business wants to increase it. In that sense big business will do everything they can to keep the recession going. Truth is, the sooner big business can bleed the American consumers dry, which is only amounts to about 300 million people, the sooner they can direct their entire effort at the 2 or so billion consumers in China, India, etc. Want proof… guess who sales more cars in China than anyone else? General Motors. Asia is the new target for big business. Not American consumers.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  60. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, it's difficult to say because economics isn't an exact science – it paints in broad generalized strokes. The problem is to identify what leading indicators are deemed critical for evaluation when making a statement as to whether or not the recession is over. Jobs and the unemployment rate can give you positive and negative views that cancel each other out in the short term. Some indicators lag behind and until all are advancing in the same positive direction at the same time, no one can safely say the recession has ended.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  61. David A Whitaker

    Heck no Jack, maybe those on Wall Street but not the street where I live.I am a disable veteran and we aren't going to get an cost of living increase.


    December 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  62. Ann from Charleston, S.C.

    I think the economy is recovering, with emphasis on the "ing". The recession is going through the process of recovery but is not yet complete, and will not be complete until people are back to work.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  63. Butch

    Are you kidding??? Not so fast....these things take years to turn around.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  64. Joe CE

    Certainly, all the effects have mnot been wiped out. It is over for the stock market which is driven by overseas profits but nt the individual. As the great philopher said: It ani't over till it's over.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  65. Angie

    The recession is on a Faster and Better road to recovery than what the Republicans predicted. Yes there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is a lot closer and brighter than what the Republicans care to admit.

    However it still isn't over as long as the banks hold back from Lending to Businesses so they can grow, build, and hired American workers. After all it is the American Worker who build this country and made this country great.

    Yet it is the Banking and Financial corporations and their Friendly Corporate CEO loving Republicans who for the last 8 years turned this country into mush.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  66. Dennis north Carolina

    has the land of the deviil froze over? no is the answer.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  67. gerry luimes

    It is not at all difficult to compare the take on recession with the opinions on Global Warming.Common sense tells us that G.W. is a fact. Whether or not it CAN be reversed is a big question....
    The recession is over for some and simply NOT for others.
    It's an ambiguous situation. I say, take your pick to which group of "optimists" you prefer to belong.My suggestion is not to blame any government; The USA is not the only suffering country, although it seems to like to think so considering all the noise emanating from the media.Every dark cloud has a silver lining ! Patience plese.
    Gerry at Edmonton,Can.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  68. JENNA

    In light of mixed messages coming from the Obama administration, do you think the recession is over?

    President Obama and his staff have said that we are still in the midst of a recession and I would have to agree with them. Are we showing signs of improvement, yes. But we have a long way to go.

    It took GW Bush and the GOP 12 years to screw over Americans and it is going to take Obama and Democrats more than 11 months to clean it up! Why anyone expects everything to be over immediately is beyond me..

    Roseville CA

    December 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  69. George, Montrose,PA

    I do not! And, I would like to thank Christina Romer for her realism as anything else seems to be a bunch of BS. Our son graduated from college last year with degrees in sociology and criminal justice. He has applied for well over 50 jobs in those fields as well as any other job just to pay his living expenses. His student loans are due to the tune of $210 a month and he is frantic. He is currently pressure washing the crap off of pig and chicken farms part time to make ends meet. He has had to fight hard to get any deferments on his student loans. His spirit is next to broken and it hurts me terribly to see him go through this. I would like someone to explain to my son that the recession is over.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  70. Cheryl, Cocoa, Fl

    not here in Florida

    December 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  71. Anthony.....Swedesboro, NJ

    When Barack Obama was elected, he wasn't Harry Potter with a wizard's wand who could instantly turn around eight years of doom with one swipe. In one year he took the economy out of the ER and into the recovery room. With the unrelenting press, conservative obstinance and the American penchant for impatience looking for blood, Obama has an uphill struggle.
    But I love his energetic persistence and am confident that four years from now our incomparable economic engine will once again lead the world.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  72. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, NY


    It depends upon one's floor assignment in the rarified air of the Ivory Tower of academia and politics. Perhaps Obama administration officials are taking their cue from the same Congress that voted themselves pay raises at the start of their current term and who enjoy a 76% subsidy on their taxpayer-funded health insurance.

    Recession, what recession ?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  73. Thom Richer

    Yeah, right!

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    December 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  74. lisa

    I think technically it's over. But i don't think jobs will be back for a long time

    December 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  75. Gordon

    It may be "officially" over but it is not over for those suffering double digit unemployment or reduced hours. Government data does not pay mortgages or buy Christmas presents. Everyone in my family has a job and for that I am grateful.

    What is the old saying? No economist ever worried about his or her next meal?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  76. Greg, Ontario

    There is no mixed message Jack. President Obama is just doing what you do. He is telling us what we already know. Where you put a negative spin on things, he preferrs to look at the positive. The banking system, auto and insurance industries did not all go under sending the world into a depression. The cost of shares on the market are reasonable and climbing and tax payers money is being paid back. Face it Jack things are turning around and it is a good thing.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  77. max berger

    can somebody tell me what is happening to the "repaid" tarp funds all the banks are repaying? will they go to pay down national debt or just back into the congressional hopper of pork spending?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  78. Curious George

    Technically by definition yes. But for the average citizen, no way! We have a long way to go yet and we need to remember how we got in this mess in the first place. It took a while to happen as will the jobs recovery. Jobs always lag any recession recovery so stay tuned.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  79. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Not until the unemployment rate get below five percent.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  80. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, it might be over for Wall Street but for the rest of us, it is far from over when you have 10% of the people unemployed.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  81. Mike from Denver

    When people can find jobs and loans, then come talk to me about the recession being over.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  82. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    There is no thought process involved. There are more than 17,000 people who need and want a real, paying, productive job – including me. That’s way too many to even pretend that the recession is over. Only liars and fools would say that.

    And I don't need speeches or optimism from a millionaire on Pennsylvania Avenue, I just need a job.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  83. Mark, Worcester MA

    I think that the amount of meddling the Obama administration is interested in doing in the daily lives of most Americans is a major sign of the recession to come. Federal employees make on average twice what the private sector employees make, and they take steps to make more and more government institutions with more and more control. How are we supposed to pay for those employees, when the private sector barely can?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  84. The Broker.

    No! A recess is just boardroom-meating, checking their next move of business. So it will never be over!!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  85. Ken in NC

    I am of the opinion that the recession is not over but ending and we are in a slow and hopefully constant state of recovery.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  86. Danny Bucksnort Tn.

    The Obama administration is full of crap. They want you to think all is well and good and they will say all sorts of things to make you believe it. They live in a fantasy world full of changing promises and illusions. There will be no improvement in the economy until private business owners start creating jobs. The government only creates debt.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  87. Raymond L Nelson

    Here's a Hint.


    December 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  88. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    This recession won't be over until the employment rate is 95% with reasonable paying jobs and we are all complaining about that 5% of the population that just don't want to work! How can any government official say its over when they couldn't even see the current recession coming? This so called recovery is artificial in that banks, insurance companies and corporations who have nothing to do with the GDP of this country are the ones who got the helping hand. They are now just pushing "paper". Where is that "paper" ending up? The folks in Washington and Wall Street just don't get it.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  89. A. Smith, Oregon

    Jack, the recession is far from over. All we are seeing is the federal govt. pouring back billions of dollars to the States that were severely gutted under the Bush-Cheney administration.

    Too little and too late to turn around the deep depression. The economy is slowly turning around but we are so far down it will take years to see the light of progress.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  90. Leandro

    Wall Street is getting record bonuses. The recession MUST be over.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  91. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    No way we have too many jobs gone overseas, We will maybe never get over this. Until the people take back AMERICA, that will never happen.We are too honest.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  92. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    I believe the foundational economic recession has hit bottom and is on the upward climb.

    I also believe that the spiritual recession, the recession where a vast number of individuals and families still suffer and still are filled with despair lingers on in a suspended state.

    In other words, the only celebratory dancing in the street is on Wall street, my street still has far to many foreclosure signs on the front lawns.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  93. Don Desaulniers

    Because of the Tiger Woods scandal, the recession is finally over for all the comedians of America.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  94. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Far from it Jack. It would not surprise me if this is simply a calm before the next economic storm brought to us by the GOP greed and corruption that originally bled this nation and set the stage for economic collapse.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    December 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  95. Clarence Johnson

    We have a long way to go. The unemployment numbers are too high for us to believe that this recession is over. We all need to be a little realistic and have patience, because our recovery will take time.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |

    do i dont still alot of people loosing there jobs.i did after 21 years.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  97. Merle

    This email is from Michigan. The recession over? Yeah, right...

    December 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  98. Gbenga

    Hey Jack, My own recession starts everytime I want to pay my bills and dont have a paycheck.

    I have lost my Job since march, and it seems to me like instead of bills been reasonable it is just going high.

    I wander, if teh light at the end of the turnnel have been extended till further notice, because hope is fading now.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  99. Neeraj

    Jack – it's all a question of definition. The recession is over if it's like a cut that has stopped bleeding and is starting to scab. But of course we're still not healed – everyday americans are still hurting – so it won't be over until that scab has been fully healed and replaced with... a scar. The Obama admin is right to put both statements out there.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  100. Paul

    When I get a job, then the recession will be over!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  101. Russ in PA

    One would be a fool to think it's over; it has a long way to go, particularly with politicians spending like they have money. Which they don't.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  102. Nancy from Tennessee

    We bailed Wall Street out of the recession, but we haven't created the jobs that are needed to make life better for the masses. All of us have someone in our family that we are worried about because they don't have a job. The President has turned his focus on jobs, finally! Now we may see improvement in the economy as a whole.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  103. Steve Canada

    It will not be over until questions like this are not asked any more. Banks and big business will not .oan or rehire until their own pockets have been refilled. This will probably be the springtime...

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  104. Tom

    Who do you think caused the recession in the first place? And who do you think is going to have to clean it up? Everybody thinks there is a quick fix to this. It took more than eight years to get us here, why should it take less than 10 months to fix? Tom

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  105. Amber

    As a small (very small) business owner I can assure you the recession is still in full swing...when will I believe it's over? When my phone starts ringing again...

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  106. steve neu

    "My" recession will not be over until the DOW gets back to 14,000!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  107. Cancer78

    No, I do not believe the recession is over. This is not only reflected in the massive amout of unemployment, and lay-offs, but also in the prices of things such as gas, utilities, groceries, and other things.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  108. Jami

    Absolutely not. The recession is not over. My father has been out of work for the last 7 months, and finding work is definitely not easy.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  109. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The economic indicators in my neighborhood are a consevative 11% unemployment rate. Record numbers of families who are working qualify for food assitance. America's children receive health insurance from the taxpayers because Mom and Dad work for sub standard wages. Oddly when I grew up every home in the neighborhood had a single income father and a mother to raise children at least to school age. The balance of wealth is non existant. Homes are empty everywhere and boarded by government subsidized banking. While homless Americans wander the streets because they refuse to live in government housing. Everwhere there are empty storefronts that once paid rent and provided employment. If we're truly out of the recession it can only mean that most Americans have slid into depression.Factories are shuttered and manufacturing payrolls have been forced overseas by the Wall Street Vampires that buy sell and trade in sweat shops deemed illeagle in America. Protecting ther lifestyles by sacrificing the American worker. Simply put there are no miidle class jobs in America. Unemployment has nothing to do with education or skills .
    22 million unskilled criminal aliens walk in our midst with impunity and some are commited to killig Americans The climbing stock market is evidence that working class Americans are loosing their incomes overseas.
    I don't blame the Obama Adminisration for the hole we're in ,only the methods of recovery

    December 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  110. Martin Heit

    Recession over? With 10% unemployment a real nobrainer.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  111. Alice,AR

    I think the recession is over, but the recovery will take years. The Stock Market has been gaining ground for many months and the job loss has slowed. During the last recession, the recovery took years. I fear that this recession will be the same.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  112. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    In light of the mixed messages, of course not. A recession takes months, if not years of economic mismanagement to happen. It certainly doesn't take five minutes and a few pep talks to be over. What with the banking system playing bonus games with taxpayer money, and making it almost impossible for people to borrow, the recession is still roaring. Just because Mr. Obama had a 'talk' with the banking CEO's today, doesn't mean they will change their ways anytime soon. The banks started this thing and it will not end until they get their act together and put greed on the back burner for a while.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  113. alex

    you know damn well that recession is measured by the trend in the growth of overall economy and GDP growth and has nothing to do with whether employment is up or down. So, I don't know why you ask an obvious question.
    The recession is over in absolute terms. Whether the job growth will follow or not is another question; the fact that recession is over is a good indicator that job growth will happen in the near future.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  114. Ron from Oklahoma

    This reminds me of something my Dad said 50 years ago.
    Recession – when your neighbor loses his job.
    Depression – when YOU lose YOUR job.
    For those in reasonably secure jobs, with health insurance and secure mortgages, the recession is probably over.
    For those out of work and without health insurance or financial security, it is not over by any means.
    As in the world of physics – everything is relative.


    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  115. Adam Skidmore san diego, ca

    No. I think that the final indication that the recession is over is when we begin to add jobs. I know that unemployment is a lagging indicator but I think job growth is significant in signaling our moving out of this recession.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  116. Fred

    When my kids stop asking me for money,then the recession is over !!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  117. Neville

    The recession will not be over until i as an unemployed individaul is still laid off. No amount of numbers is going to satisfy me until i am back to work. Anyhow, i am not going to blame the administratiion for what's going on. I believe that this is a long process our economy has to go through before things are back to normal. until then, i will continue to hope i get back into the work field whether or not the economy returns back to the level it was before it sank to this level.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  118. Bruce W.

    When my colleagues, who are being let go this week, stop getting laid off, then I might think that the recession is abating.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  119. george charles paree

    No jack its not our employment figures are was obama knows this he had them brough out thanks giving for the would be that way our unempolyment rate is around 10.6 you will see that this month.Obamas a commie jack he will control the facts to it seem his way .pray for country this is as close to socialism.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  120. Tom sloan

    The recession is over when I get a job

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  121. Ken Buckman

    You noise wonks don't see the part of the problem that you represent. You present a topic on the recession outlining administration positions in your oh so condescending way; then, when you and Wolf weigh in, before you get "America's opinion," you give just the contradictory messages you criticize. I would love more hard, non-opinionated news as opposed to the conflict mongering all networks seem engaged in these days. We encountered the enemy and they are us.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  122. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    the recession will not be over until the unemployment rate levels off at less than half of what it is now. Unfortunately, this will not happen for several years. currently, there are pehaps hundreds of people applying for the same job. this has to change. Government programs alone will not help. Yet, today, corporations are paying a lot of money to downsize and/or outsource most of their work to overseas workers who will get paid at a much lower rate than here. we need a new focus on corporate investment increases in something besides big drug and petroleum mergers. ... unless they already know we'll be in hock for our heating and lighting bills and need more pills to get over the headaches.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  123. elmo

    no Jack, the recession is not over. this month, i've been unemployed for a year. unemployment soon to run out. at 61 it's scary!! unemployment
    is high here. no one hiring til maybe Jan, keep up the fight!
    Thanks Jack!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  124. mark

    I won't consider the recession over until those willing to work are able to. Too many educated and driven americans are currently being forced into unemployment or menial jobs, while folks who provide no useable product or service collect all the money.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  125. Sam

    If you're going to use the academic term to describe the situation we're in, then use the academic definition of that word. By that definition, yes, the recession is over. We have passed the recession, hit the trough, and are now in the expansion or recovery phase. No, we are not back to "normal;" that's why it's called a "recovery."

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  126. Curt Solomon

    Hi Jack, Maybe if everything wasn't made overseas and I mean just about everything, there would be plenty of jobs here as well as money. I think this is hurting our country as much as anything else. Thanks, Curtis S.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  127. Patty , Washington State

    Unless, they stem the great deluge of American jobs being shipped overseas, the answer is an emphatic NO, the recession/depression is a long way from being over.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  128. Jerry W. Freeman

    NO However, if you can get the government to give me a bage and the power to Investagate and prosecute fraud waste and corruption and I'll get it back going in 24 months

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  129. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    If the recession is not over I think it is very close to being over. All of us will know much more after the numbers for Christmas sales are released next month. Unfortunately, where I live a layoff notice was released last week that will affect 120 workers near by beginning in early February 2010. The real confusing point is that when you look at job openings in the area there are many firms that are looking for new employees. It seems like we may be right near the upward trend on starting to climb out of this mess

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  130. Eric from Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    No Jack the recession is not over, and it hasn't been over since the end of last year. I have been out of work since then and many promises given by this administration to produce jobs (regardless of party) seemed to have failed. When will this country hit rock bottom and really elect people with Integrity, honor, and a legitimate desire to serve "The People of the United States?". Tell you what, I am there and have been there now for quite some time. Wait till the mid-terms...I'm going to really enjoy slowly casting my ballot in protest. Enough is enough!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  131. CD

    The recession is over for the bums that caused it. Those that got the
    billions of dollars in bailout money and millions in bonuses.
    For me I get ZIP on SAVINGS. I just picked up a pair of cleaners from the cleans. They cost $4.50 to be cleaned. I feel like I got cleaned.
    Apparently the recession is over for the dry cleaners.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  132. Michael n Seattle

    I could see results of the recession being over when Bush and Cheney left the white house.
    everything has been nothing but up hill since.
    I shudder to think what it would be like if MCcain/Palin were running the country now.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  133. John, Cheektowaga, NY

    Hell NO! The recession is not near over. Extended unemployment is helping things mauntain the present level. When that runs out, things will get even worse. There will be more homes foreclosed on and more people looking for all kinds of help.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  134. Kevin

    No Jack, the recession is not over. We will be in a recession until Washington becomes accountable for it's budget. With a 10% unemployment rate the feds voted for a 2% wage increase for federal employess. Who are these morons that think we can keep printing money just for fun. To borrow a line from Jack Nickleson, "Washington needs an enema" See you at the Tea Party.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  135. Paul

    I do not feel that the recession is over for the average person what so ever, because in my eyes this recession is based on the unemployment statistics 10%. No if you ask Wall street and the Banks then yhey will say that it's over because they are cleaning up on the backs of the average american. We loan banks billions of dollars and get nothing in return except higher rates and less loans. O blah blah blah is not a man of his word but a man of blah blah blah. Whats he doing about bringing jobs back to america?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  136. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – A "recession" is not a matter of opinion. It has a specific technical definition and is determined by mathematical measurements. Recession is not defined by employment or unemployment, just by GDP change and only by GDP change. A recession is not the same thing as an economic bust, and the absence of recession is not the same thing as an economic boom. Employment always picks up two quarters after a recession is really over. What is unhelpful is the Humpty Dumpty approach to terminology – "a word means what I meant it to mean the last time I used it." The recession is over. The recovery is yet to come. Stop confusing the issue by misusing the words. Case closed.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  137. ed in ri

    Let's be serious here. Who are we listening to about the alledged recession. Most US manufacturing jobs are lost forever, and Obamas top economic staff members are the very people that caused this meltdown in the first place. For any forward thinking american, Obamas idea of fixing the economy is a devistating joke on middle class america.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  138. Babs

    The recession was kind of like cancer. We got sick under the Bush administration. The bailout was essentially chemotherapy – it made us sick to our stomach, but was necessary – and now, we're in remission, but we're still weak, bald, and pissed off. Until we grow our hair back and life gets back to normal, the effects of the cancer/recession remains. The good thing is we're not dead yet! Whoo hoo!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  139. Donn

    Of Course Not

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  140. Joe Tucson

    Jack, you said it right at the end of your commentary. Over 15 million people out of work. When Bush was in office and he sent even more jobs over seas because of NAFTA he explained he was acting on behalf of the American people for what was best for us all. Obama not worth me calling him our President, said before he was our president that he would make Nafta right and make it benifit the American people instead of coporate American businesses. Well that has not happened and it won't. Until they bring back business to America we are all lost. And it's not just 15 million out of work. It's Illegals taking even more that they say they have a right to. When are we going to get an honest president and congress that will care about the real American people? And not big business and the dam Illegals that have put this country under????????????

    December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  141. john


    LOL....lets laugh a little. i think the President is a moron. how does his efforts to work with banks fail the small business owner who employs the majority of our people on "Main Street"(this term is synonymous with the Monarchs "Peasant" standard). as well has anyone seen what taxes of those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks is gong to cost them. at the maximum rate with 52 weeks of unemployment the average taxpayer who did not have taxes removed from their unemployment wll have to pay the government back $10,000 on average for being on unemployment for a year. Hopefully they have write offs...if they are single with no kids forget it you will be paying more. We are a pathetic culture to thinkthat the recession is over. Recession moves to inflation which moves many into poverty. we havent even seen the inflation issue yet..Dont be fooled. We will not be out of the woods for 5 years minimum. If you think different go take a crash course in economics.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  142. Joan E. Dunham

    Hi, Jack!

    The recession is far from over, but the upper middle class people who had money to spend still have it. It's the little guy who is getting "screwed".

    If the Republicans would show some constructive support for improving things, we might move forward. It seems that all they want to do is throw a monkeywrench into the works so things look like they're failing. They're trying to keep the fires going so it looks like Obama is failing. They think it will help win back some of their power in the fall elections..

    December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  143. Derek in Tennessee

    Sure Jack, I think the recession is over. If by over you mean the same as when George Bush gave his speech on Iraq in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  144. RJ, Michigan

    NO, not till unemployment improves. Companies won't start hiring until orders are up. Orders won't be up if consumers continue to be unemployed and have no money to spend. We are in a downward spiral and those who have the power to do something about it , WON'T until their profits are up to the levels prior to 2008. What a bunch of GREEDY people. Praying for God to judge the wealthy/powerful in ways they can't even imagine. I believe in a just God and what goes around comes around. Isn't that how this country was formed? A bunch of immigrants that were disgusted with the privileged British? Well we have have a new class of pompous privileged who forget where their ancestors came from. I bet the Queen of England is having a good laugh at the peasant Americans.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  145. Jim Sloan

    The recession is in no way over! There is still this 10% known unemployed but if you add in the "underemployed" and those who have just stopped looking, The Department of Labor estimates the rate is more like 17%.
    I'm one of the "underemployed" now with a job that is paying me $1 above the minimum wage. Why you may ask? Because I need some sort of revenue coming in to help keep me at least treading water. And that's not necessary saying my head is above water ALL the time!
    I don't foresee any real turn around anytime soon and that includes the this coming spring 2010 as the President seems so optimistic.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  146. Preston in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl

    Jake, you're great; you say how it is. And Hell no, we're not out of a recession. I don't have a job now but i'm ok and let me tell you what i'm doing to keep myself busy. I'm a volunteer at a local charitable organization and let me tell you something. I see so many poor people way worse off than anyone else I know. It breaks my heart. I do have a partner with a very good job, thankfully. But, we pay I think out of pocket now $17,000/ year. I don't know how people are hanging in there. They're not actually. They're letting their health insurance laps and doing without and getting sick. Guess who will end up paying their hostpital bills.
    I feel very blessed and thankful more so these days now!
    Thanks Jack
    Preston in Ft. Lauderdale

    December 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  147. John J Procita

    If the recession is over, then the moon is made of Swiss cheese. Working in grocery retail these days is very disheartening. So many more people than before are using food stamps; customers who lost their jobs in the private sector are buying more low end products. While Mrs. Obama wears expensive designer clothes, President Obama and his team of Wall Street fat cats are not dealing with reality.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  148. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Not yet Jack. There are changes that must be made in order to correct the injustices done to the people.

    I understand why they would like to say the recession/depression is over, but it's not. You see, Jack, until the broken economic template is destroyed and a new era of sound economic growth has replaced the old warn out build cheap, charge more attitude is gone, then you'll have solid economic growth.

    In my area, Jack, it's like build everywhere without regard to the health of the environment. The bottom line here Jack is economics = environment.

    Until they completely get it, and change this destructive ways of growth, nature will continue to destroy what they build. You just can't continue to build outward and expect nature to be friendly to you.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  149. Joe

    Jack, Jack, Jack....There is no recession. Let's be honest here. Our great American country is in a mild depression. There is more than meets the eye going on. The government would not tell The American people what is really happening for fear of panic. President Obama went into office over his head and is doing a very good job overall. No president can solve everything nor be liked by all. The banks are not stimulating anything. You want to stimulate the economy? Enact The Navy Joe Act that I have proposed to help disabled veterans who spend all of their resources to survive daily life and to help their families. Veterans deserve more than banks and would stimulate the economy overall. Veterans have always given vice banking institutions.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  150. LS in Rochelle,IL

    Yeah, the recession is over. Now will someone explain to my brother why he can't find a job after being unemployed for 18 months.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  151. Jim


    It's obvious from their responses that Summers and Roper are using different definitions of the recession being "over." Summers is looking at the generally upward trend since March while Romer is looking at the economic pain that still persists. Combining their observations we see that the worst is behind us but full recovery is still in the future. Does that situation constitute an end to the recession? It's all a matter of definition, Jack.

    Reno, Nevada

    December 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  152. Richi

    If it doesn't matter what recession mean like you say, Why blame the Obama Administration? The recession was in the minority communities long before anyone cared..

    December 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  153. hicham

    10% unemplyment is joke , when the real number will exceed 17 %, not countaing the small business owners who doesnt qualify to be added to those estimate .
    of course the recession is over long time ago for who qualify to get some of the 700 billions dollars specialy they were minority numbers....but for the rest of us, it just getting worst by the day..
    dont believe me !!!...go outside and ask little store around the corner. or at the mall to find out what,s over about the recession.???

    December 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  154. Unemployed Brian

    Well, I am a Veteran and former Fed Gov't employee that resigned due to my father passing earlier this year. Now, I been looking for Gov't employment about 8 months ago. I just just a call from an investigator from an organization (15 minutes ago), I called the number back, excited that I was finally, possibly getting somewhere. Well, Guess What, She had the wrong number.....LOL, Hahahaha. Then I hear your lastest question, "Is the recession over?", LOL, Hahahahah. Yeah Right. I am still Laughing and "Crying", insanely.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  155. Kevin

    OVER!?!? Not by a LONG damned sight! My job is practically gone. I get one mabey two days a week.... If I'm lucky! Heavy manufacturing jobs like mine are closing at an astonishing rate. No one can afford the equipment we build. I'm not sure How I'm gonna pay my bills this month, let alone Christmas gifts for my son and nephews.... SO NOT OVER BY ANY MEANS!! And as far as I'm able to tell.... It's not even close!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  156. Esther Massillon Ohio


    There was no recession. There was GREED. Jack we are far from what those men and women who created this country. We have lost our way from the values those who came before us. We have lost our way. America was for the people of the people and by the people. That meant simple every day folks ran the country not the way it is now, Lawyers and Cheats lead us. We are just reaping what we sow. Simply put Jack we are Idiots who let those we put in charge steer us instead of us taking an interest in what was going on. Apathy is our problem not a recession. The stock market is happy for this. Top 1% are safe from our Apathy. In fact they encourage it. It's not a recession it's the result of us being Naughty rather than Nice. Happy Holidays. Sincerely

    December 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  157. EugeneWiese

    Thanks to Ronald Reagan the recession is still with us. Gene

    December 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  158. Marc Taylor in Kansas City

    Come on Jack!

    I think you should see your job more as clarifying positions and issues instead of further confusing and opening up "made up" issues.

    The recession is technically over per Larry Summer's comment. The negative affects of the recession or, rather, the emotional side of the recession is not over per Christina Romer.

    These two opinions are not in conflict... which is obvious and should have been reported that way.

    The media's desire to "let" news fester and to report "both sides" without ever resolving, is causing the public to get on the wrong side of issues in many cases... we need more help CLARIFYING... not more exaggerated confusion... politicians, lobbyists, and lying political ads do enough of that already.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  159. sharon

    well Jack,
    with the bankers still concerned for themselves......no.
    with wall street still concerned for themselves........no.
    with cooperate America still concerned for themselves......no.
    with the rich/greedy folks still concerned for themselves.....no.
    with the congress still concerned for themselves and not the people that put them there......remember that next election...............no.
    with some in the media........not you.........only concerned for their"noise".................................................................................no.

    For those of us in the BOTTOM 95%............................we just want someone.......anyone....to hear us down here......................................
    Obama is not the only person in the world that right all the wrong down by all the people that were soooooooooo busy for soooooooo
    long. He is just ONE person. It will take some time to correct allllllllllllll
    the mess.........he walked into on day one.
    HELP SOMEBODY.........HELP SOMEBODY......HELP.....HELP........
    You get the idea. ALOT of people just need help. NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  160. Liz, Los Angeles, CA

    No, it's not over. But what really galls me is hearing about all this stuff from people who'll never have a care in the world regarding money, whose health insurance is graciously provided my me (I can't afford my own already), and who sometimes talk AT us like we're dumber than doorknobs. But guess what ... we're not. At least there's not a tax levied when I vote.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  161. Steve Coleman

    How could the recession be over? Tell that to seniors and disabled.
    Even though prices escalate on everything, even at Wal-Mart, we're not getting a cost of living increase for next year. Mr. Obama mentioned giving us another "stimulous" check to offset this nonsense 2 months ago, but it has silently disappeared from the discussion and the legislation that was passed to extend all those other programs to help main street like those extensions for the unemployed who need them. With all this and the escalation of the war, I regret supported this president.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  162. Dianne of Paducah

    Jack, In a word NO! You already said what I have been saying all along. It depends on who you ask. As for me and millions more like me " Welcome to my World "

    December 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  163. Darrell Wright from Anderson, Indiana


    Considering the rate of (reported) Unemployment, and the actual number of those unemployed, don't think it is time to call it by it's proper name??? You know DEPRESSION!!!

    And no we are not out of it. To be honest I do not think our current president is going to do a damn thing about it either. I think it is time to face facts. Obama mania is over, he is the president of the USA and he needs to start acting like a good one or he too will suffer a similar fate as President GWB – "The Worst President in the USA."

    Of course it would have helped if we actually had someone to pick from in the 2008 presidential election. Of Course, if the Republicans (and Sarah Palin) have their way in 2012, we will still not have anyone to vote for who may actually be able to run this country anywhere but in the ground.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  164. Lori - PA


    No. If it was over, would President Obama be having a meeting with top bank executives about lending to small businesses?

    December 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  165. William of Michigan

    The only reason various numbers go down..is because, no one is left to be added. All the millions out of work are NOT back to work, and many of them, have benefits that are now gone.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  166. Karl from SF, CA

    Since jobs are always the last element of the economy to recover in any recession and in light of the reversal of the stock market decline and other improved indicators, the recession is essentially over. I think right now a reform of health care and loosening of money by the banks would give business a great boost by cutting overhead for employers and allow then to create more jobs faster.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  167. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    With billions owed to China, recession is a word that's going to played on for a long time whether Americans or employed or not, so we might as well get use to it.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  168. vinny

    If the recession is over corse not jack the democrats are trying to confuse to the american people thinking on nov 2010 god bless them

    December 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  169. Anna in Chicago

    Not when we promote cunsumption and send production to India and China. It will get worse before it gets better.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  170. Joe

    I would be surprised if less than 95% of Americans say no. Irregardless of what we say, it isn't. Considering the threat of global nuclear proliferation, shortages in food and fuel, the massive number of people upon which microbes have to experiment with their design, and climate change...who cares? There are simply too many people. Sadly, our history of war-making was the only saving us from ourselves. Peace, love, and understanding in the hands of laissez-faire capitalists is rapidly crushing us all.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  171. Ash Shoush

    If recession is 2 consecutive negative quarters, what is the heck should we call the 8 months consecutive negative results in finding a job......

    December 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  172. Mal St. Laurence / Longmont, Colorado

    No... when unemployment comes down and foreclosures are minimized the Recession/Depression will still be alive and kicking around those on Main Street, like the last 18 months. The Federal Reserve, Banks and Investors sticking money in each others' pockets only creates an 'illusion of Recovery" ,on paper. For those suffering economically, this a Depression, not a Recovery or even a Recession.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  173. Jane (Minnesota)

    Not until unemployment improves.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  174. Charles Herr

    Our Federal Government has used everything at its disposal to get the economy a current, anemic state of health. The world has also thrown much support to the US government. All this to make the patient come out of a comma, semi-conscious, coughing and wheezing. The deficit spending, because it requires the sales of treasury bonds, competes with our exporters. The spending must but can't continue. More deficit spending will rune the economy. Not continuing the spending will rune the economy. We had our clunker recovery and soon will slip into the abyss. (How is this for hyperbole!)

    December 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  175. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The depression may be over, but it appears to me, an actual working American, that the recession has just barely settled in at this point.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  176. katiec Pekin, IL

    With all the problems our country faces, nothing is cut in stone.
    So much is intertwined and dependant on other factors. If we could
    ever get all the politicians to do what they were elected to do and
    work together for our survival everything would go much smoother.
    President Obama, which you seem reluctant to put this title
    together, Jack, is trying to show some optimisim, giving an
    indication of a better future, rather than the doom, gloom and
    negativity we get from your apparent party of choice.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  177. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    yes, Jack, by definition the recession is over, but we are still in the recovery process with jobs predictably being the last element to be restored. Obama being a working person's president says he won't rest until everyone who wants a job has one. Semantics don't count for much; character is worth a fortune.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  178. Will from San Jose, CA

    Recession is an economic term with a very specific meaning, two consecutive quarters of declining GDP. The GDP rose last quarter so by definition we are no longer in a recession, in an economic sense.

    However the word recession has been used by the media, in a broader sense, as a general term to describe the harder times currently faced by American workers. In that sense, for the wider meaning of the word, we are still in recession.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  179. randy seattle

    Are you kidding me? I'm so desperate for a job. I would take one of those "jobs" us americans dont want. Please explain to me why illegals can currently be employed but I can't. They must be more important than I.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  180. Lloyd Montana

    No the recession is not over.

    My friends are still standing in the unemployment lines.
    If this is a recovery we are in big trouble.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  181. Joseph Young

    Yes, the Obama administration has given mixed messages regarding the economy. But I can understand the reason why. The recession ends only when people start to spend money again. But the Obama administration knows that no one will spend a dime more than they have to if they do not have a job or has a job but does not feel confident about the economy. The Obama administration finds itself having to be truthful about the economy but at the same time, positive. The recession is not over but positive comments about a negative reality could do the trick.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  182. Lawrence Goldstein

    When do I stop laughing? Just like we will never get an answer on "To Big to Fail". When you lose your job, you will not be able to watch CNN, it's part of the premium package. Internet is also expensive.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  183. Liz

    Hi Jack, I have an RN after my name for me there never was a recession.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  184. EugeneWiese

    Pile it on.We are trying to do everything about everything that's minutely connected to military action.I wonder if we have the gall to ask China for money to attack them?Sanctions have started against Iran so if this news is as popular as Tger Woods,we'll hear plenty from now on. Gene

    December 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  185. Rey Alcalde

    I invested my retirement money for my wife’s schooling. She graduated last June 2009 but can not find a job related to her completed new career. All Employers she had applied for asked for one-year experience from this career. I wonder what will happen to those students that will be graduating by next year. How can the President help the young generation find a job that spent thousandth to get a degree? Recession is not over!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  186. Steve Dallas, Tx

    How could the recession be over? Tell that to seniors and disabled.
    Even though prices escalate on everything, even at Wal-Mart, we're not getting a cost of living increase for 2010. Mr. Obama mentioned giving us another stimulous chedk to offset this nonsense 2 months ago, but it has silently disappeared from the discussion and the legislation recently passed to extend unemployment benefits. With that and the escalation of the war (now I'm paying for that!), I regret I supported this president.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  187. Cheryl, North Carolina

    If 10% of White House staffers and 10% of Congress members were out of work, losing their homes and not knowing where their next paycheck was coming from, my guess is that our government would have to admit we're still in a recession.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  188. John

    No, most certainly not.

    I have a small business in the wood products industry and I am highly dependent on home BUILDING. Home building will not start up again until the inventory of unsold homes is reduced significantly!

    People in our business are still frightened of losing their jobs, not finding one. After significant cutbacks, many companies are burning through any reserves that they may have left and long term mill shutdowns are almost invevitable.

    Obama needs to stop the name-calling and micro-managing of private businesses. Even with the current situation described above, I blame this administration, not the businesses trying to guess what dagger Obama will put in them next.

    Obama's administration obviously don't have a clue. It looks like a giant ship with no rudder.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  189. Pamela Jones

    There's no mixed message, except from the media that wants to stir controversy. Understanding the situation is like a cake, you can't eat it until you bake it. The financial segment of the country is on the mend and had to be tended to in order to fix the rest, that would be jobs, etc. It's a work in progress and patience is the key! Wait and things will get better.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  190. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    it does not matter, the companies that received help form the public have decided that they want a slow recovery, and that means that they want the Republicans back in office, that is why they are not lending to people and companies that have very good records and should be lent too! The companies and corporation have far too much power over our country, they should be broken up, to take that power away from them!

    December 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  191. Michael Alexandria, VA

    I don't know Jack. Ask me after the December sales and employment figures come in. I suspect that with temporary employment up, the recession is probably over.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  192. chris romine

    Dear Jack :I have been being quite for some time here, but your question is to hard to resist Jack no it is not over! there is alot of us AMERICANS out here that are not lucky enough to have a carreer nor a job to go to every day. I do have to say I am lucky because I do get a little unemployment 92.00 a week and its about out so next year it is unsure what there will be but all I have is hope for something to pull thru. Jack its been four years since medical problems from a work related injury cost me my physical for my Commercial driver liecense and being that my employer fired me the next day after the injury its been a night mare and what I have found out it is completly legal to fire a worker after he is injured in Indiana and it frees the corperation from medical care and benifits of its employee and not even a good luck just screw you and fin for yourselve.well being unable to work its a no brainer I have been left hanging and at 40 some what a time to change carreers for what little oppoertunitties I have to choose from its not right and I feel I have been a victim of Fashist pollitics .

    December 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  193. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, optimism about the economy and the recession being over are two different things. President Bush, with the TARP program, and President Obama, with the stimulus, prevented the economy from crashing outright, but recovery is a long term project. Look back in history and see that every economic recovery has taken time.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  194. Mike M

    No, the recession is not over. The current recession has been building in earnest since 1998 when the Republicans wrote the "Free Trade Bill", and President Clinton signed it into law. Our economy and jobs have had that 'sucking sound' ever since. If we don't turn the "Free Trade Bill' around, and start returning jobs back to America, we may never get out of this economic tail spin. The one thing bad about equalization of a vacuum (from the sucking sound)...................is that you are left with a vacuum.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  195. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Absolutely not Jack.................and congress is still out of control which will make it worse.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  196. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    I think it's over for Larry Summers' friends at Goldman Sucks but not for the middle and lower classes.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  197. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    The Economy IS recovering, & everyone agrees about that, except Republicans, who are responsible, (bad choice of words; au contraire! They're IRRESPONSIBLE TO THE EXTREME), for the crash, by invading Iraq under false pretenses, foolish tax cuts, passing bills without even a thought as to how they would be paid for . . . spending money like drunken sailors. Now, they say they won't pass the healtcare bill, even though it is so desperately needed. They know that this reform will help pay the National Debt, so they will stop at nothing, & will pull ALL stops, to make sure it doesn't pass. They have done everything they can think of, to slow down the rate of recovery; they're hoping that The President won't succeed at anything, if they JUST SAY NO, but they're SO wrong. By hurting the People in these ways, they're also hurting themselves.(Cutting off noses comes to mind . . .) We KNOW who's to blame for our problems, & know that they will do whatever is necessary, to keep anyone else from helping us.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  198. Abner in Michigan

    Really Jack?... really??? For everyone that watches Monday Night Football.... C'mon man.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  199. Clif Harkleroad

    This stock market bubble was a very one and effected many people. The result was a realization of living within your means which is a good thing. So what is a good place to put your money now that is the question. people are trying to figure out what will survive and what will not. Many businesses have gained and many have fallen but we are going to more stable and our system will come out stronger. So the state we were in was heading for failure anyway. people are figureing out what they need and what they can afford. industry will follow. so is the answer at hand i belive yes. I also believe that people will start to demand quality for what they pay for and that cheap imports will fall by the wayside. That will build up US made goods by demand that will spur employment. So i urge people to get what they apy and buy the best quality they can even if they have tosave a little for it, pay cash and not do credit. the US will then arise to its glory withinn. So we are at the crossroads don't let this slip thur your hands.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  200. David

    It does not take a rocket scienetist to understand that if you can,t pay your bills how can you be able to borrow more money from the fat cats.
    Please America wake up for gods sake! The wall street fat cats do not give a damn about mainstreet. All they want is more of mainstreets money so they can get a little bit fatter. Wake up ! look out the grench is alive and well.


    December 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  201. lynne from north carolina

    It depends on whom you ask. Funny thing people are spending like no tomorrow out at the malls and other places, especially Walmart.

    The first thing that is there are jobs, but no skilled people to fill them and employers don't want to take the time to train people for those jobs. Second is that the people that were keeping the train going, those mostly under $75,000 especially those making less than $30,000 now have shaky or bad credit.

    Now because of that, they can't buy anything and nor can they go to the bank borrow money because the banks aren't lending them now. Face it, those with shaky or bad credit are going to have to be lent to if you want the recession to stop.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  202. Dave in Michigan

    It's over by technical measures, but it will be quite some time before it will feel that way to many people. With 10% official unemployment and actual unemployment and underemployment running much higher there is still a lot of pain out there. I just hope we don't dip back into another recession when all of the gov't spending dries up.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  203. Brian from Denver

    Hell no the recession isn't over!! Not when judging unemployment rates, which is the MOST important criterion for most Americans. However, most politicians–who seem to have silver spoons up their backsides–will shout from the rooftops that it IS over, just to get re-elected by poor saps who will believe anything they say.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  204. kate

    RECESSION IS NOT OVER ! Jobs for all the US citizens are oversees, e.g. auto manufacturing, clothing, etc. These jobs cannot be replaced by Environmental Designs. Manufacturing is what has kept this country going and the envy of the world. Now we are being impoverished by a new economic model with NAFTA, GAFTA, etc. There is an equalizing of POVERTY thruout the world. The mass of U.S. citizens has been definitely reduced and designed by the big companies of the US.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  205. Bill in Arizona

    Hello Jack. No, I don't believe the recession is over, not until the people who are out of work, get their jobs back. There's a lot of talk about what the government is doing, but nothing seems to be getting done about the job market. This is going to be a very bad Christmas for a lot of Americans and their children. As for Lieberman, why doesn't he just sit down and shut up. We all know he's for the insurance companies, and not for the people who elected him. He should be reminded who put him in office. Thank you.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  206. Joe in VA

    It is not over for my family. My son-in-law has been out of work since January 20, Inaugration Day. We've been "hoping for some change" but nothing yet. It's all a matter of perspective. Got a stable job , it's over. Not so, it's not.

    Chatham, VA

    December 14, 2009 at 5:59 pm |