The New York Times article The Nation's Economy, This Side of the Recession covers how the economy has changed due to the impacts of the great recession. Key quote:
In the five years since the United States began its slow climb out of the deepest recession since the 1930s, the job market has undergone a substantial makeover. The middle class has lost ground as the greatest gains have occurred at the top and bottom of the pay scale, leaving even many working Americans living in poverty. The housing industry, once the primary engine of growth and a fountain of jobs, has shrunk, while health care, technology and energy have led the recovery.
At the same time, relatively low paying industries health care and food service have added workers.
This is illustrated in the story chart on the right.
We also think the recession has accelerated a series of shifts in small business formation, leading to more single person businesses and fewer employer small businesses.
It's clear the Great Recession has had major impacts across the economy and society.
And while the phrase that's most often wrong in the forecasting business is "this time it's different", this time things do appear to be different.