Is the recession over in West Michigan? Not so fast...

Date: August 29, 2013

Jeff Hill made the proclamation last week with a column titled "The Recession Is Over, Tell A Friend" on the Issue Media Group local business news site, Rapid Growth Media, of which Hill is publisher.

Citing population gains, a rebounding housing market and a rosier picture in general for Grand Rapids compared to similarly-sized U.S. metro areas, Hill asks in a surprised tone why local media, bankers and economists have not definitively declared the Great Recession over for West Michigan.

“An economic panel back in 2010 declared the 18 month long U.S. recession officially "over," even though the national unemployment rate back then was still hovering around 10 percent. That was three years ago. Three. The Grand Rapids' area's unemployment rate has been hovering around 6.5 percent over the last year, almost a full point below the national average, and yet the response is "ho hum, recession is still not over," locally.“

Does Hill have a point? Have the media and business professionals in Grand Rapids been remiss in making clear that the recession is indeed kaput around here?

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