'Great Recession' officially over; many scoff

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on September 20, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 20 at 5:35 PM

 

SEATTLE - According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, "The Great Recession" is over. It lasted a year-and-a-half and ended some 15 months ago. But tell that to Allen Franklin.  The 44-year-old left Colorado for Seattle 6 months ago when he was laid off from his job as a forklift driver. The economy was supposed to be better here. Now, he's homeless and walks the streets desperately trying to find work.

"I was evicted because I couldn't pay my rent," he says. "Now it's just gotten worse. Hopefully the economy is gonna get better."

Further evidence that things aren't getting much better: Seattle's Bread of Life Mission is now adding lunchtime meals for the first time in it's 71-year history.

"We're turning people away," says executive director Willie Parish. "We don't have the space to accommodate everyone who has needs."

In Washington we're still at nearly 9 percent unemployment.  Foreclosure rates in King County alone skyrocketed 156 percentover this time last year. And the state still faces a $4.5 billion budget shortfall in 2011.

UW economist Dick Startz says the economy is like the winless Husky football team from two years ago. They've bottomed out but the economic equivalent of a bowl game won't come any time soon.

"Things are going to continue to gradually improve," he says.

The offical end of the recession only marks the bottom. How long it will take to completely climb out is anyone's guess, with some forecasters putting it as far away as 2014.

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