Maybe, Just Maybe, the Economy Is Starting to Recover

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Is the economy finally getting better? A friend writes in with some anecdotal evidence: his father, who declared bankruptcy two years ago, got cold called by Bank of America offering him a refi deal. What’s more, his brother finally got evicted from his foreclosed house in Riverside. “I’ve told people that the recession won’t end until his creditors evict him,” he writes. “His presence in the house was a sign that the house can’t be sold. Well, my brother is getting evicted next week.”

Karl Smith has some anecdotal evidence too, but he also has some statistical evidence to offer. According to the BLS payroll series on employment, job growth has been pretty flat for the past year (that’s the red line). But the household survey tells a different story. From a near stall in June, employment growth has been accelerating steadily for the past year and is now up to nearly 250,000 new jobs per month. So maybe the economy is doing better than we think.

It’s worth noting that none of this matters much for the election. If the economy really is poised for takeoff, it will come too late to do Barack Obama any good. For now, this is just something to scratch our chins about.

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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 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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