The Changing Nature of Recessions

In the years leading up to December 2007, there was a growing chorus declaring the end of business cycles. Clearly, business cycles have not gone away, and AIER’s research, contained in our new study, The Changing Nature of Recessions, shows that recessions have changed in troubling ways. 

We can’t predict when the next one will come, but those who fall in its wake will face a tough road to recovery. That is because recessions are increasingly structural events. They occur less often but involve more economic disruption. In particular, they are now followed by “jobless” recoveries and feature more permanent layoffs.

Five years after the Great Recession ended, many are asking when the economy will take off. The more important question is will you be ready for the next downturn. Resiliency will be the key to surviving the next recession. 

For individuals this means:

  • Think of your career as a business
  • Deepen learning skills and broaden your expertise
  • Stay informed about the economy, your industry, company, and occupation
  • Building sound finances while employed

Businesses, too, need to build resiliency:

  • Retool your existing workforce for adaptability
  • Adopt business management best practices
  • Engage customers in innovation

To survive, and even thrive, in a world of unrelenting change, people and businesses have to stay informed, be nimble, and be ready and able to adjust and innovate. The next recession, whatever its underlying cause, and irrespective of whether it is mild or severe, will mean change. Being well prepared can make it a change for the better for people and businesses.