The people who make the official call for the start and end point of recessions, which is the National Bureau of Economic Research, announced on September 20 that the recession officially hit bottom in June 2009. We need to look at what that actually means. The bottom point of the economic cycle is considered the end of a recession. The Bureau calculated the low point, or the trough, was in June last year. Since then the economy has been recovering, although slowly. …
If you are so interested, lots of economic data is available from the federal government on-line. Two items of interest to me are unemployment data and GDP changes. Those are fairly major pieces of the economic picture.
Unemployment data: Alternative measures of labor utilization – table A-15 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Of particular interest are U-3 and U-6. The most quoted information is the U-3 measure, which is a calculation of unemployed people as percent of the civilian labor force. This is the official number you hear about. The broader data is the U-6 measure. That is based on the total number unemployed plus people only able to work part-time, plus people who want to work but have dropped out of the market. Or at least that is my casual interpretation of the data.
Changes in GDP: Percent change from preceding period in real Gross Domestic Product – table 1.1.1 from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
There are several frequently requested tables from the BEA.