For decades, Arizona was one of the national leaders in aggregate economic growth, as measured by the percent change in measures such as gross product and employment. However, its growth rate always has been highly cyclical. During expansionary periods, Arizona always has been among the top states on the rate of growth. During recessions, the Arizona economy generally slumped at a rate similar to the national average, but would experience a rapid recovery. This pattern continued through the economic expansion of the mid-2000s. After that, Arizona experienced one of the longest and deepest recessions of any state, at a time when the national recession was the most severe since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The recessionary period has been followed by an economic recovery only matching the national average.