WTF is a 'bifurcated recovery'?

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A bifurcated road and tree.

I've been seeing the phrase "bifurcated recovery" a lot lately, which got me thinking ... what the fuck is that? I mean, "bifurcated"? That's a heck of a word for a society that generally reads on an eighth-grade level.

Let's start with the dictionary: Bifurcate is a verb, and it means to divide something into two branches. Recovery, of course, is what our economy desperately needs.

So, a "bifurcated recovery" is referring to a recovery that's split in two.

In layman's terms, it means that the rich are recovering just fine ... in fact, some are doing better than they were pre-Great Recession. Meanwhile, the poor aren't doing so hot.

Here is one article where I've found the phrase "bifurcated recovery"; it's about the hotel industry:

Similar to LaSalle Hotel, DiamondRock Hospitality and Chesapeake Lodging Trust, Pebblebrook buys and owns full-service hotels in the top 20 markets in the country, which have benefited the most from the recovery.

“It feels like a bifurcated economy, where you have people in the coastal and major urban markets doing relatively well and they’re traveling,” Martz said.

Read the rest of the article, by Danielle Douglas, here.

Here's another one, about the job market, from April of this year:

Economist Bill Rodgers has a name for the recovery — and it's not a very nice one.

Rodgers, a professor at Rutgers University, calls it "bifurcated" because people who have college degrees are getting hired, but those who didn't finish school are sitting on the sidelines. Many have given up on their search for work.

"This horrible recession, combined with this weak recovery, has lead to this bifurcated set of outcomes," he says.

Read the rest of this article, by Zoe Chace, here.

Now you know; when you hear "bifurcated recovery" this is a plus if you're rich, and a minus if you're not.

Vocabulary lesson over.


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