It's the end of the recession as we know it. Why don't we feel fine?


The "Great Recession" is over -- at least officially. A recession, by definition, is two consecutive quarters of falling gross domestic product, and recent figures show that the GDP rose 3.5% in the third quarter this year. Phew.

So why don't we feel better? For too many of us, it feels like nothing has changed. The sunniest estimates predict unemployment staying over 9% for the next year, and many experts fear it could rise above 10% before it drops. And underemployment accounts for a further 8%. That means 17% of Americans are either out of work or doing jobs far beneath their training level. No wonder things don't feel normal yet.