THE SECOND HALF OF THE LOST DECADE WILL LOOK LIKE THE FIRST

IT’S COMPLICATED

There is no quick end in sight to the chronic weakness of America as it enters the second half of its lost economic decade. We’re deluged with reports suggesting that, because the recession was so deep, it will take many years to regain anything like the pre-crisis prosperity. How long did the Great Depression last, ten years?

THE GREAT RECESSION WILL APPEAR MUTED

During the second half of the Great Recession America will rarely “appear” to be in an actual economic depression. New college graduates will continue to move back in with their parents. Strapped school districts across the country will remain open but will continue to cut out advanced courses in math and science. Visible homelessness will increase but only slightly.

GOOD EMPLOYMENT NEWS WILL BE SPRINKLED IN WITH THE BAD

There always will continue to be good news. For the first time since 2007, employers report a double-digit increase in their spring hiring projections, according to results of NACE’s 2011 Job Outlook Spring Update. The first hiring projections made for the Class of 2011 in the JobOutlook 2011 Fall Preview showed a planned increase in hiring of 13.5 percent for this year’s crop of new graduates. In this latest update, employers indicate they plan to hire 19.3 percent more graduates in 2010-11 than they did in 2009-10.

ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY WILL STILL BE A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE

Politicians will have to accept continued high levels of unemployment and keep lecturing the public to “be patient”. American families will remain functional, but as soon as they encounter a job loss, marital problems, or health concerns they will be demolished. More than ever, college students will choose a major because it offers economic security.

SOME ECONOMIC TRENDS ARE PERMANENT, UNIVERSAL AND IRREVERSABLE

Financial problems not only affected the less well off or a small number of people, but extended to those on higher salaries who are well educated. Even if the economy gets better, entire generations of Americans had to suffer lost hope for at least a portion of their life. Baby Boomers always believed they had the best economic opportunity in world history. Now Generations X, Y and Z live in despair.

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