The recession’s aftershocks, five years later
It’s been five years since the financial meltdown that spurred the Great Recession, and the effects of the downturn are still rampant. Students are saddled with debt while unable to find work, adult workers are seeing their wages stagnate while older workers who lose their jobs may not have a chance at attaining another.
Reporters Walter Hamilton and Shan Li recently looked at the economic status of a middle class family from Redondo Beach. Janet Barker, an eighth-grade teacher, thought her life was completely in order just a few years ago:
Then the financial crisis struck in 2008. She has abandoned her dreams, and these days, she’s just trying to hold her family together. Five people squeeze into her 1,000-square-foot house because they can’t afford to live anywhere else. She’s supporting her ex-husband, their daughter, an unemployed son-in-law and a grandchild.
As Carl Van Horn, labor economist and director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, puts it:
"American workers are between two uncomfortable realities: Either they are working and terrified about the future or they are not working at all."
Read the full story from reporters Walter Hamilton and Shan Li here.
Photos: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times