Thank you - I was amazed not to read this anywhere else. Yes, if the time you start work includes 2008 -> now, then you have been working in a recession.
I started work in 1992. There was a mini recession then too (UK), and my unrealistic hopes of high starting salaries were quickly driven home when it transpired I was one of only two people graduating to actually get a job, let alone a vast salary. That also has a knock-on when you start looking at percentage rises as well of course - you may well get similar percentages in future years, but you started from a different base.
I was 'lucky'. I had a job when most didn't, and these days I've more than overcome the started-with-a-low-base problem. But 'these days' are quite a way away from 1992...people who started work near 2008 will have a more exaggerated manifestation of the same problem, and will likely have to wait until later in their working life to correct it.