(New York Times) — In the old days — before 1990 — American recessions tended to be fairly sharp. But the recoveries, when they came, were also rapid. Laid-off workers were recalled and consumers who had deferred purchases out of fear they might lose their jobs were willing again to buy cars and homes. The newer version of recessions — in 1990-91 and 2001 — provided shallower downturns. But the aftermath was also slow and painful. They came to be known as jobless recoveries.