Is the U.S. economy in a recession right now? Has the next recession in the United States already begun? Unfortunately, there are a lot of economic numbers that are pointing in that direction. U.S. retail sales have fallen for three months in a row, U.S. manufacturing activity is contracting and there are numerous indications that the labor market is getting weaker. Of course there are some economists that will argue that we never even left the last recession. For example, the percentage of working age Americans with jobs fell from above 63 percent in 2007 to under 59 percent during the last recession. Since the end of the last recession, that number has not gotten back above 59 percent. In fact, it has been below 59 percent for 34 months in a row. In addition, we have continued to see poverty and government dependence steadily rise during this “economic recovery”. Since Barack Obama became president, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6 million and the number of Americans on food stamps has risen by 14 million. So it would be really hard to argue with anyone that wants to say that the last recession never really ended. However, the latest economic numbers indicate that things are about to get even worse for the U.S. economy, and that is not good news at all.