Is The Recession Really Over?

After two years the economy has shown signals of growth. Some of have hailed this as a sign that the recession is over. But, are they speaking too soon?

The government has issued what looks to be the first sign of economic growth in two years. Analysts expect to see growth in the July-September quarter at 3.3 percent. If correct it would end four straight quarters of contraction.

Is time for celebration? Not so fast.

Although many will point to this being a sign that the Great Recession is over, the AP reminds us:

Even if the economy climbs back into positive territory in the third quarter, it will be up to another group to declare the recession over. The National Bureau of Economic Research, a panel of academics, is in charge of dating the beginning and ends of recessions. It usually makes it determinations well after the fact.

For others, a great question for the here and now is: Where are the jobs? The jobless rate rose to 9.9 percent this October and is likely to go as high as 10.5 percent in mid-2010.

So how can there be growth with no jobs?

This past quarter’s reported growth has largely been fueled by government spending and a slight surge in consumer spending – such as the cash for clunkers program.

Speaking of that program, it’s been reported that tax payers coughed up roughly $24,000 per car sold. In a report questions just how helpful the program was to the car industry and overall economy.

Via CNN Money: