Technically, the National Bureau of Economic Research down in Washington is the outfit that formally declares when a recession starts and ends. But frankly, screw them. They waited an entire year to tell us that we were even in one! And we don't know about you, but we personally could have used that information way back, before we committed to some unwise purchases on our Visas. So, we're not waiting for them this time. We're just going to say it: The Recession is over, or at least, it's on its way out. We know: It still looks bad, and new information just came out that jobless claims hit a 26-year high last week, and Chinese exports just registered their largest drop in ten years, but let's look at the big picture here: The labor force has nearly doubled since 1982, and those plastic clogs are ugly. And alongside the bad news in today's papers, there were also several signs that, like crocuses in the springtime, announced a thaw was en route. They were small signs. So small that the common eye can barely even see them, but we have a certain ability to see trends. We used to write Times "Style" section stories, you know.* After the jump, we present our indisputable proof that happy times will soon be here again.
1. Joshua Persky, the guy who made headlines back in June when he appeared on Park Avenue wearing a sandwich board proclaiming "M.I.T. grad for hire," got a job.
2. Rich women are secretly buying fancy shrugs. (Bonus points here because that is a garment that no one actually needs.)
3. People are quietly making piles of money off of YouTube videos. This, plus problems elsewhere are on the front page of the New York Times, and recession-related material has been relegated to below the fold.
Plus, Wikipedia says that the average length of U.S. recessions is thirteen months, and we're about there. But then again, Jennifer Aniston doesn't seem to be able to afford clothes…
*And now we probably never will again.