How to Learn from the Last Few Recessions

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It seems inconceivable that the global economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic unscathed. Not only are markets contracting, but we're literally losing access to so many of the places where we spend our money day to day. Restaurants, gyms, shops, bars, museums, small businesses — all over the world, they're going dark or online-only. Economists have been predicting a recession in 2020 for several years now, but earlier models suggested it might come from housing or some other sector. However it arrives, it seems to be on its way.

Journalists at Yahoo Finance have taken a deeper look into what past recessions can teach us about where this one might leave us. For millennials already struggling with depleted opportunities and fewer chances to build wealth, the news isn't good.

"Beginning in 1991, each of the last three recessions has been followed by a 'jobless' recovery in which the economy starts growing again, but employers remain stubbornly resistant to hiring," writes columnist Rick Newman. "[A]fter the seven recessions from 1950 through the 1980s, it took 20 months, on average, before total employment reached its pre-recession peak. But in the three recessions since 1991, it has taken an average of 51 months for the labor market to heal, or 2.5 times as long."

Whatever your employment situation as 2020 moves forward, it's always a good time to keep learning new skills and maintaining your network. Always keep the value you bring to a situation front of mind. You can create it within an organization or directly with consumers; what's important is acting on the belief that you're worth it.