The Great Depression
The Great Depression was a worldwide economic depression that lasted 10 years, from 1929 to 1939. During the Great Depression, America’s GDP fell 27% and 1 in 4 working Americans was unemployed, which means that unemployment reached 25% during that time. Also, the economic production dropped by 50%. It was the longest and most severe depression.
This recession lasted 8 months, from February to October 1945. The GDP continued to fall until it reached -10.6% in 1946. That was due to the demobilisation from World War II. (Amadeo, 2017). This recession was brief yet sharp. After this recession, an expansion took place and lasted over three years.
This recession lasted 11 months from November 1948 until October 1949. Unemployment reached a peak of 7.9%. This recession was mild. This was followed by a robust expansion until 1953.
Recession of 1953 (The Post-Korean War Recession)
This recession lasted 10 months from July 1953 to May 1954. It resulted from the demobilisation after the Korean War. Unemployment rate was 2.9% and GDP declined by 2.2%.
Recession of 1957 (The Eisenhower Recession)
This recession lasted 8 months from August 1957 to April 1958. The government tightened monetary policy to years prior to the recession to limit inflation, but prices continued to rise in the U.S. through 1959 (Barufaldi, n.d.). Unemployment peaked at 7.5% in July 1958. This recession was moderate. This was followed by a brief two-year expansion.
1960 Recession (The Rolling Adjustment Recession)
This recession lasted 10 months from April 1960 to February 1961. GDP declined by 2.1% and unemployment rate was 6.9%. This recession was known as the rolling adjustment for many U.S. major industries. People at that time shifted to buying compact and foreign-made cars and industry drew down inventories (Barufaldi, n.d.). This was followed by a robust expansion until 1970, when incomes augmented and poverty declined sharply.
This recession lasted 11 months from December 1969 to November 1970. This was a mild recession and was caused by the government’s employment of a very restrictive monetary policy due to increasing inflation. GDP declined by 0.8% and unemployment peaked at 6.1% in December 1970. This recession was mild. Expansion resumed until 1973.
This recession lasted 16 months from November 1973 to March 1975. It was a long and deep recession. It was caused by quadrupling of oil prices and high government spending on the Vietnam War. This led to high unemployment, which reached 9% in May 1975. This recession was severe.
The economy suffered two recessions during that time. The first one lasted 6 months from January 1980 to July 1980. The Federal Reserve System caused it by raising interest rates to fight inflation. The second recession lasted 16 months from July 1981 to November 1982. It was a long and deep recession and was caused by the regime change in Iran; Iran exported oil at inconsistent intervals and at lower volumes, driving prices higher (Barufaldi, n.d.). Unemployment reached 10.8% in November 1982, the highest level of unemployment in any recession (Amadeo, 2017). It was a severe recession. This recession was followed by the second longest economic expansion in the U.S. history that lasted until 1990.
This recession lasted 8 months from July 1990 to March 1991. This was caused by a spike in oil price in 1990, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which caused manufacturing trade sales to decline (Barufaldi, n.d.). This recession was brief and mild. After this recession, the U.S. entered in a 10-year expansion, which is the longest economic expansion in the U.S. history.
This recession lasted 8 months from March 2001 to November 2001. It was caused by the Y2K scare in 2000 and the 9/11 attack made it worse. Unemployment peaked at 6.3% in June 2003. This recession was brief and shallow.
This depression was the worst since the 1929 Depression. It lasted 18 months from December 2007 to June 2009. The economic slump began when the U.S. housing market went from boom to bust and large amounts of mortgage-backed securities and derivatives lost significant value (The Great Recession, n.d.). This recession was moderate.