Monday, December 31, 2018

A timely story

RACINE COUNTY — Judgments of just when the Great Recession began and 
when it pulled out of sight vary. But there’s no doubt it had gained a 
full head of steam in Racine County by this date 10 years ago. 
For many people, the recession was a time of loss and financial, 
mental and emotional strain. 
From 2008 to well into 2010, the economy was a landscape of dominoes, 
each one that tipped knocking over others in a massive, seemingly 
unstoppable chain reaction that left almost no part of the economy 
Throughout that time, businesses here, like everywhere else in the 
country, were forced into making agonizing choices. Many of those 
decisions were savage in their impact, yanking people’s jobs out from 
under their feet at the worst possible time for them to go seeking 
other employment. 
About midway through that chaotic time, in 2009, the City of Racine’s 
jobless rate hit 17 percent, dropped a bit, then chugged back up to 17 
percent before improving a bit that fall. Countywide, at the peak, 
about one in every nine people was unemployed and looking for work. 
During those Great Recession years, the economy dominated local news 
with a torrent of job layoffs, business closings, constricted business 
spending and deflated investments. Some businesses shrank to withered 
versions of their former selves, their services unwanted and unneeded 
when most others were slashing spending in attempts to keep their 
books in balance. 
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