A recession is an economic downturn that lasts for at least six months, but does not have the duration and severity of an economic depression. Recessions are typically accompanied by increases in unemployment and a decline in the stock market.
Unemployment increases as college graduates enter the job market and cannot find jobs, employees are laid off due to reduced business sales, companies go out of business voluntarily, or go bankrupt. With the increase in unemployment, consumers ability to repay loans declines, home foreclosures increase, and personal bankruptcies rise.
Causes and cures for specific recessions vary greatly. A February 23, 2010 column by Eugene M. Grant in the Huffington Post, proposed tax credits on investments in business to stimulate the economy. Meanwhile, a March 3,2010 column from the Wonk Room argued that the 6 billion energy efficiency rebate program proposed during the second year of the Obama administration would help rebuild the "Tool Belt" economy.