Why doesn’t it feel like the real GDP has recovered from the recession?
Because employment is still in the tank.
Mark J. Perry printed an update to his graph of the GDP and employment numbers at Chart of the Day: Structural Shift in the U.S. Economy. I mentioned this graph earlier.
Real GDP is just a tiny bit above the peak before the recession. Up about 0.72%. Just an itty-bitty rise over the peak. That is actually very good news.
Yet the number of jobs is down 5.7 million from the peak of about 146.27 million. Even this far after the recovery started, the number of jobs is down 3.9%.
On the graph the gap between those two stats is huge.
So that is why it feels like the stats you hear about how great the economy is doing don’t make any sense.
Oh. All that plus housing prices keep dropping. That feels lousy too.
And yet the GDP keeps increasing (slowly, but it is increasing).
No wonder we’re confused.