26 April 2012 Chart of the day: The Great Recession This recession is significantly longer than, and almost as deep as, the one affecting Britain the 1930s. But looking at GDP growth hides the fact that some aspects of it are even worse: Nominally positive growth below the rate of population growth results in GDP per capita contracting. Even if we find out, after the final GDP figures come out in two months, that we weren't in a national recession, we've been in a per capita recession for a while. And under OBR and ONS predictions for the rate of GDP and population growth, it won't be until 2016 that GDP per capita is back to where it was in 2007. That isn't a lost year; it's a lost decade. And even talk of a lost decade is understating the problem. Pay rises have been near at or below inflation for so long that the average weekly wage now is worth the same as it was in September of 2002 – and because price inflation remains higher than wage inflation, this is getting worse, not better. In terms of what you can buy for your wage, we've already lost a decade. The trick will be to not lose two. By Alex Hern Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.