A Visual Guide to the Recovery

A number of factors combined to create the vortex of the Great Recession in 2008.

Since the darkest days of the Great Recession, many signs show that big sectors of the economy are getting demonstrably better.

Unemployment is down from a high of 10.0% in late 2010 to a current rate of 7.5%. (Graphic courtesy of BLS)


The Case Shiller Index indicates home values are up significantly, the highest since 2006. (Graphic from McGraw Hill via Slate.) Recovery in the housing market is critical as the housing bust lit the fuse for the financial meltdown.

Meanwhile, financial markets have stabilized. This week, Moody's upgraded its outlook on our financial sector for the first time in five years. 

The S&P 500 has increased dramatically since 2009. (Graphic courtesy of the New York Times)

Consumer confidence is at a five year high. (Graphic courtesy of Trading Economics)

Important emerging sectors of the economy like clean energy are taking root. The price of solar power is dropping rapidly. We may be on the cusp of a solar energy boom. (Graphic via The Week)

In short, a wide range of the economy is normalizing. Housing is stable, consumer confidence is high, unemployment is on a slow but somewhat steady downward path. 

Now that we’re out of triage mode, we should start focusing on policy solutions that will help the 21st century economy emerge.

By concentrating on a suite of manufacturing initiatives, clean energy and innovative infrastructure solutions in the near term, we can establish a strong foundation for the next economy to grow.