Most economists now agree that the worst part of the recession is over, and we're officially in sluggish recovery mode. No one can say for sure when things will finally return to normal, but enough time has passed that an analysis of the data from the downturn's lowest point is possible.
For many industries, that point took place in 2009 and 2010. It was a brutal period for most businesses, and many struggled simply to tread water. But others were hit hard, and they offer a unique view into what consumers consider non-essential when times are tough.
Using data provided by the financial information firm Sageworks, CNBC.com shows which industries took the worst beating between 2009 and 2010. Sageworks also provided the insight of analyst Libby Bierman to explain why these industries suffered more than others.
Read ahead to see which industries were hit hardest by the recession.
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