According to the National Bureau of Economic Research the recession officially ended 15 months ago. The panel of economists says the recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. That makes it the longest recession since the end of World War II. Economists say we have recovered about 70 percent of our economic growth, and about 40 percent of the business and retail sales that were lost. But only 9 percent of the private sector jobs wiped out in the recession have come back.