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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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