Pew has a new report on the recession:
The work-related impact of this recession extends far beyond the 9.7% who are unemployed or the 16.6% who (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) are either out of work or underemployed. The Pew Research survey finds that about a third (32%) of adults in the labor force have been unemployed for a period of time during the recession. And when asked about a broader range of work-related impacts, 55% of adults in the labor force say that during the recession they have suffered a spell of unemployment, a cut in pay, a reduction in hours or an involuntary spell in a part-time job.
William Galston is somber:
As recently as 2002, 61 percent thought their children’s standard of living would be better than their own; only 10 percent thought it would be worse. Today, the optimists’ share has declined to 45 percent, while pessimists now constitute fully 26 percent of the population. And doubt tends to reinforce caution. We don’t have enough evidence to conclude that the Great Recession will generate the kind of long-lasting risk aversion that characterized the Depression-era generation throughout their lives. But we do have reason to believe that for some time to come, what Keynes famously called “animal spirits” will remain subdued, which suggests that we’re in for a slow recovery and historically high levels of unemployment for much of this decade. If the Pew report is on target, the “new normal” will be more than a slogan.