The nation’s economy and labor market are gradually gaining strength. Job creation is up and the unemployment rate keeps falling. But American families need more months of much-stronger job creation to eliminate the massive economic pain that the crisis and its aftermath brought.
Substantial trouble spots remain in the economy and in households’ economic security. Economic growth is robust but not stellar, the housing market remains sluggish, and government finances continue to struggle. Unemployment is still high, incomes are low, poverty is high, and household wealth remains low.
Growth and job creation are coming from the private sector but the current economic recovery would have been weaker and would have happened later 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 recovery and help accelerate private-sector job creation, especially if it focuses on the most vulnerable population groups—particularly communities of color, the long-term unemployed, and younger and lower-income employees.
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