The Economy is Better, Except that No One Has a Job


The LA Times reports on the economy today:

Improving economic data is making the prospects more likely that the Federal Reserve will start tapering its massive bond buying next month, a move that suggests the recovery is on solid ground….Economic growth unexpectedly picked up in the second quarter, though it still remained relatively weak. Corporate earnings are largely stronger. Consumer confidence is back to pre-recession levels.

This is all true, and it’s all conventional wisdom. But it really shows how low our expectations have gotten. Take a look at the following two charts. The first one, from CBPP, shows that although the headline unemployment rate is down, this is mostly due to large numbers of people dropping out of the workforce and not being counted anymore:

The second one, from Pew, shows the employment rate specifically for workers under 30:

The employment rate of young people cratered between 2007 and 2010, and it hasn’t rebounded since. The same report shows that young people are increasingly living at home—hardly a surprise if they can’t find a job. And yet, our recovery is supposedly on solid ground. If this isn’t the soft bigotry of low expectations, I don’t know what is.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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