The economy is gradually gaining strength, creating more jobs, and reducing the unemployment rate. Economic pain for American families, though, remains significant with relatively high unemployment, persistent long-term unemployment, lingering household wealth losses, and crushing debt burdens. The economy will have to grow much faster for much longer to restore economic security for America’s middle class.
The private sector drives growth and job creation, but the current economic recovery would be weaker and delayed had policymakers not taken steps in the past few years to invest in infrastructure and help the most vulnerable.
Smart economic policy can continue to strengthen the economic recovery and help accelerate private-sector job creation. The right steps can strengthen the economy, such as by increasing infrastructure spending on schools, roads, bridges, and more, and by extending key middle-class tax cuts, such as the temporary payroll tax cuts for an additional year. And policymakers can lend a helping hand to millions of unemployed workers who cannot find a job and need extended unemployment insurance benefits until the economy and the labor market improve significantly further.
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