NetOne Recruiter – Optimism in the Face of a Recession

NetOne Recruiter – Optimism in the Face of a Recession

As we have heard throughout the entire pandemic, a recession has been looming in the distance. However, the United States economy has historically recovered from the recessions that it has experienced. Recessions can be opportunities for businesses to grow and thrive, making the option to have optimism in the face of a recession viable.

Since the Great Depression, the United States has experienced 14 official recessions. An official recession is measured by two fiscal quarters in a row in which the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declines. While there was a recession at the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the U.S from February 2020 to April 2020, the most recent long-term recession was the Great Recession. The Great Recession was the worst economic downturn since the 1930s with a GDP decline of 4.3% and a peak unemployment rate of 9.5%.  Below is a list of major recessions in the United States, their length, and how far the GDP dipped during them.


Recession Name Length Peak Drop in GDP
Great Depression August 1929 – March 1933 -26.7%
Recession of 1937–1938 May 1937 – June 1938 -18.2%
Recession of 1945 February 1945 – October 1945 -12.7%
Recession of 1949 November 1948 – October 1949 -1.7%
Recession of 1953 July 1953 – May 1954 -2.6%
Recession of 1958 August 1957 – April 1958 -3.7%
Recession of 1960–1961 April 1960 – February 1961 -1.6%
Recession of 1969–1970 December 1969 – November 1970 -0.6%
1973–1975 recession November 1973 – March 1975 -3.2%
1980 recession January 1980 – July 1980 -2.2%
1981–1982 recession July 1981 – November 1982 -2.7%
Early 1990s recession July 1990 – March 1991 -1.4%
Early 2000s recession March 2001 – November 2001 -0.3%
Great Recession December 2007 – June 2009 -5.1%
COVID-19 recession February 2020 – April 2020 -19.2%

The fact is, recessions are scary, but recessions are also temporary. Since 1980, recessions have lasted only a year and a half at most and each recession has even more time lapse between each of them. Each time the economy has bounded back, and good, stable businesses have weathered these storms and new ideas have been able to shine in the marketplace. Dealing with a recession is a hard task business owners must deal with but not an insurmountable one, and with good strategy and teamwork, market leaders can make it to the other side.

Not only that, but while recessions have been coined as points in time that are difficult economic times for consumers, there is the flip side where recessions are a chance for growth. Recessions have been wonderful opportunities for entrepreneurial creativity to flourish. Some of the most successful companies were born in economic recessions. A few of these companies include:

  • The first Burger King was opened during the 1953 recession in Jacksonville Florida.
  • During the recession of 1958, the first Trader Joe’s grocery store and the first Hyatt Hotel both opened their doors.
  • The software giant, Microsoft was founded in 1975 during the oil embargo recession.
  • In the 1980 Recession, Ted Turner first introduced and went live with his new 24-hour news channel, the Cable News Network or CNN.
  • The disruptor of the lodging industry, Airbnb, was founded in 2008 at the beginning of the Great Recession.
  • Square, which has made point-of-sale software accessible to small businesses, was founded in 2009 in the middle of the Great Recession.
  • One of the pinnacle ridesharing apps, Uber, was also founded in 2009.

As history shows, the United States economy has experienced 14 recessions and 14 recoveries. It is inevitable that another recession will occur in the United States, but they do not need to be viewed only as economic downturns. Historically speaking, not only have most recessions and economic downturns been mild (with most having a less than 4% drop in GDP) but recessions can and have provided small and new businesses a landscape for growth, creativity, and innovation.

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Sources:

CEOs Concerned About Recession But Remain Optimistic: Marcum-Hofstra Survey
Entrepreneurs Show Unwavering Optimism in the Face of Recession
Ten Reasons to Be Optimistic In a Recession
A Review of Past Recessions
9 Businesses That Thrive in Recession
Industries That Can Thrive During Recessions
10 unicorns that were founded during recessions
Why a Recession Would Likely Be Mild
The marketing platform Mailchimp formed during the dot-com recession in 2001