Which side are you on?
How old are you - and do you work in the private or public sector?
Answer me these two questions, and there's a fair bet I can tell you the kind of recession you've had.
Today's labour-market figures point up two great divides in the labour market experience of British workers in this recession. With few exceptions, this has been a private sector recession - and a recession of the young.
For the sake of the public finances, and our broader society, the balance needs to be reversed in the recovery.
The public-private divide is much discussed, and is probably already starting to reverse itself. As I've written in the past, public sector employment has actually grown during the recession, and so have public sector wages.
That is not unwelcome - in fact, it's what we mean we say that the "automatic stabilisers" are sustaining demand. Broadly speaking, we "want" the public sector to be counter-cyclical. But it has opened up quite a divide.
Today's numbers are typical. In the private sector, average total pay (including bonuses) did not grow at all between the last quarter of 2008 and the last quarter of 2009. In the public sector, average total pay has risen by 3.7%.
As I warned yesterday, that last number is being distorted upwards by all those bankers who are now counted in the public sector. Excluding them, the average pay rise in the public sector was 2.6%.
But that still means the average pay packet in the public sector has risen slightly in real terms, in the past year. In the private sector - it's fallen by 2.2% (the average rate of inflation in 2009).
According to the latest CIPD/KPMG quarterly labour-market survey, both the employment and the wage story are already changing.
This found that public sector employers expected to cut workers in the next few months - whereas many private sector companies were looking to take people on.
And they predicted the next private sector pay award would be around 2%, compared to 0.9% in the public sector.
It's safe to predict that the recovery will be less kind to the public sector than the recession was.
But it's hard to make such a clear prediction regarding young people. Everyone is always saying "the recession has been hardest on the young". But the numbers tell the story better than rhetoric.
Relative to the scale of the downturn, the rise in inactivity in the past two years has not been as bad as in past recessions.
At 21.3%, the inactivity rate today is now lower than it was in the early 1980s. What has changed is the age distribution.
There are many students included in the inactivity numbers - they were largely responsible for this latest rise.
But of the 16-17-year-olds not in full-time education, nearly 41% were economically inactive during the last quarter of 2009. Back in 1992, the figure was less than 15%.
Because this can include people in part-time work or training, this is not quite the same as the so-called NEETs - not in employment, education or training. But it is deeply troubling nonetheless.
If you want an even clearer picture of how the labour market experience of young people has changed, consider the following astonishing fact.
In the second quarter of 1992, two-thirds - 65% - of 16-17-year-olds who were not in full-time education were reported to have a job. Now the figure is 35%.
The numbers are better for 18-24-year-olds who are not in full-time education - 69% of that group were classified as employed in the last three months of 2009. In the early 1990s it was around 71%.
But this group had a 77% employment rate in 2004. It's been falling more or less ever since. The new figures show employment among the under-25s falling by more than 80,000 during the three months to October.
Every labour-market expert I know is deeply concerned by these figures - especially those falling employment rates for 16-17-year-olds, which could have an impact on their social and economic prospects for decades to come.
I don't hear of many easy solutions - let alone cheap ones. But when it comes to this particular labour-market divide, let's hope that the next parliament will be a time for bright ideas as well as tough choices.