State of The Union is Better but Still Troubled

The New York Times‘ Upshot Staff’s take on the State of the Union is, “in short: The state of union, while far stronger than when Mr. Obama took office, remains troubled.”

“While the unemployment rate is falling rapidly, there has been less progress in pulling back in the millions of Americans who dropped out of the labor force entirely during the recession and slow recovery.”

“The proportion of the population with a job fell nearly five percentage points from late 2007 to late 2010 — and the economy has regained only one of those five percentage points since. Some of that is because of longer-term demographic changes, particularly with the baby boom generation reaching retirement age. But there are millions who left the labor force when the economy went south and do not yet see the opportunities that might coax them to rejoin the work force.”

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“The acceleration in job creation has not, as of yet, been matched with an acceleration in wages. Hourly earnings have been rising around 2 percent a year since 2011 — in other words, barely above the rate of inflation.”

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