This is the recovery of discontent. We are in the midst of one of the longest periods of economic growth in American history, and the job market is close to full employment. The economy is now consistently creating hundreds of thousands of jobs per month. And yet two-thirds of Americans believe our country is on the wrong track. Over half describe the economy as “bad.”
To understand how the recent upswing in job growth might feel for the American worker, we need to put the growth in context. After all, adding 200,000 jobs in an economy of 80 million feels a lot different than adding 200,000 jobs in an economy of 160 million. But we can scale historical job numbers by the size of the workforce such that they are comparable to job numbers in 2015.
Our findings include: