If It's A Mild Recession, Why Is It So Painful?

Economists have been puzzled for months over why the economy is making people feel so bad. Surveys by the Conference Board and the University of Michigan show that consumer confidence is as low as it was in the 1981-82 recession. But unemployment was nearly 10% back then, vs. just 7% today. And subtle job-market indicators, such as the number of people who have stopped looking for work, are much lower now as well. So why all the pessimism?

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