LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It's widely viewed that The Great Recession started five years ago this week. September 18, 2008 fell on a Thursday, but what a remarkable week it had already been.
Just a day earlier the Dow lost 449 points. The day before that, the federal government bailed out insurer AIG for $85 billion. Wall Street was in chaos and Main Street was bracing for the impact.
"It was very interesting," said Steve Dunnuck of Bison Financial in Lafayette. "I think the thing that was the most surprising about this week was the severity and the speed."
President Obama hasn't forgotten that week either, as he talked about it today during a speech to Business Roundtable in Washington.
"At that point the auto industry was flat lining," President Obama said. "You had the entire financial sector locked up. A number of banks were in deep trouble."
In 2007, the local unemployment rate jumped from 3.6 percent to 11 percent just two years later. Greater Lafayette Commerce President and CEO Joe Seaman says that period was a tough time for local business.
"Certainly everybody was impacted," Seaman said. "This organization was impacted itself because we're a membership organization and we had small companies, large companies that have been with us for 10-20 years, who all of a sudden were saying I'm not sure I have enough money for membership."
Times have been equally hard on job seekers like Joel Terrell who has been at WorkOne in Lafayette searching for a full-time job.
"It's been pretty hard here actually," Terrell said. "I've been out of work for about nine months. It's been a day to day kind of process."
Current unemployment in Lafayette is 8.5 percent, but Dunnuck is optimistic about the region's future.
"Do I think it's going to come back and come under five? Absolutely," said Dunnuck. "Do I ever think it's going to go back to three percent? I'm not sure. I hope."
Indiana Department of Transportation road crews are preparing the roads for the first winter storm of the season.
Lafayette Police are asking for the public's help to find a man wanted for burglary and theft.
Toyota says it has begun production of its 2014 Highlander SUV at its plant in southwestern Indiana.