The Great Recession ended in June 2009, according to the body charged with dating when recessions begin and end.
The National Bureau of Economic Research, an independent group of economists, released a statement Monday saying economic data now clearly points to the economy turning higher last summer.
But Monday's announcement comes at a time when there is growing concern among many economists that the U.S. economy is in danger of slipping into another downturn, a so-called double-dip recession. Measures of economic growth, hiring and other signs of recovery have all weakened in recent months.
Businesses hiring is picking up, but not enough to make up for the massive losses of temporary government jobs.
The economy lost a total of 54,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department reported Friday, matching the revised estimate of jobs lost in July.
The bulk of the losses came from the public sector, as the government cut 114,000 temporary census workers. It was the third straight month that census worker layoffs caused an overall decline in jobs.