There is a silly controversy concerning when the recession began.

The White House has argued revisions last year to economic data meant the fourth quarter of 2000 would be more accurate, a change that would shift the start of the downturn from the presidency of Bush to that of his predecessor Bill Clinton.

What we should be arguing about is when the recession ended–if it has. Labor capacity utilization has not risen since I wrote this essay. The latest data on aggregate hours worked, which is the cyclical numerator for my labor capacity utilization index, can be found in this table from this morning’s data release.

For Discussion. Should we view the economy as still being in recession?