Recession over? Not from where you’re standing

It’s a weird time in this economy. We’re told we’re in recovery. But here we are holding our breath for Thursday when we’ll see Minnesota’s jobless numbers for October. Officials are already bracing for a spike in the jobless rate.

minnecon.smallicon.gifSo we asked Minnesotans in MPR’s Public Insight Network just to finish one of these sentences: “I’ll believe the recession’s over when …” or “I’m feeling a recovery right now because …” and then add a little detail.

We were struck by some of the responses showing how much collateral damage people are seeing: friends, neighbors, relatives still struggling.

“I’ll believe the recession’s over when … a young man I mentored can find a job in his field,” said Ben Weiss of St. Paul.

“He graduated from technical college in May 2008 with a certificate in welding; the school said 87 percent of graduates normally find jobs in their field within a year. He’s still working his part-time student job at a grocery store. ”

Click on the map icons to read what others told us.

Click the little box on the upper right hand corner of the map to see it in full screen.

Most of the map icons are lightening bolts indicating responses of people who are not convinced the recession’s over.

Mitch Lentz of Spring Valley won’t be convinced until he sees Main Street recover.

No matter what happens on Wall Street, it’s not going to look good on Main Street for quite a while longer.

Sure you can find signs that the economy is turning the corner but it won’t feel good for months. If you don’t have a job, you don’t care if GDP is going up. If the housing market is improving and you lost your house to bankruptcy you don’t care. You care that you don’t have a house for your family.

In the map, you’ll see a few folks who do say they can feel a recovery. You have to zoom around to find them. I marked them with purple sunshine icons (don’t laugh).

“I’m feeling a recovery right now because … the value of my retirement funds and savings have recovered to where they were at over a year ago, and they are still growing,” said Russ Stanton of Edina. “The selling prices of homes are rising fast. Employers are hiring more temps–which usually precedes increased employment.”

What are you seeing?

Click here and finish one of those sentences. Help us keep the conversation rolling.

  • Julia Schrenkler, MPR

    After the feature/video about multigenerational living, I’m wondering if many people will feel that a place of their own will be a sign that the recession is over.