Friday, December 5, 2014

US Economy Experiences Record Job Growth

To the likely dismay of Republicans, (who seem to experience joy in decrying the bad economy under the Obama administration, especially during election campaigns) the US economy experienced gains during November this year. The United States has added 321,000 jobs, the best showing in nearly three years" (Reuters).

Though the unemployment rate remains at 5.8%, the "broader jobless rate, including people who worked fewer hours than they would like last month or those who have stopped looking for a job, fell to 11.4 percent" (CBS). Additionally, every major industry "bulked up their payrolls," with average pay up to $24.66, (LA Times) signalling the rebounding strength of the labor market, and thus the economy through the strengthening of consumer power.

Despite this, over the past year, wage increases have been only at an average at 2.1%, well short of the 3% the Federal Reserve need for comfort in increasing interest rates before mid-2015. (Reuters).

Economists are predicting a positive outlook for America's economy in the future, predicting that "we'll see a real acceleration in wage growth" by next year (LA Times).

Public opinion about the economy has risen as well, with Gallup reporting that "economic confidence in the U.S. had risen to its highest level in a year and a half, matching a post-recession high point." Democrats tend to have a more positive view of the economy than Republicans, (whose politicians obviously have a vested interest in portraying the economy as worse than it actually is) though both groups view the economy more positively than before (LA Times).

Click here for information more detailed charts and statistics about the American economy's performance in November.

Questions for discussion:

1) How has current domestic policy contributed to the upturn of the economy? What groups can be credited for this? (There will likely be more than one.)

2) Despite the more favorable economic conditions, Republicans portrayed the economy as unstable during the November elections to fuel discontent over Obama to gain electoral victories in the November elections. How and why were they able to succeed in this regard?


Jordan Kranzler said...

I'm not sure I can find many direct policies to support this. More, lower gas prices and a seasonal spending spree (for the holidays) were what caused this, in my opinion. I feel like the Republicans were able to do this because the Democrats lacked a clear message defending their economic policies, so it's not like this was very different from other years with the Republicans attacking Democrat about the economy "under" Obama, it's just that Democrats didn't really counter it with anything effective... We need more Elizabeth Warrens!

Katie Wysong 6 said...

I think the most promising sign for the economy was not the decrease in unemployment, but actually the wage increase. Increased wages means people are earning more and able to spend that money, further boosting the economy. This NPR report said that the increase was almost twice as high as many economist were predicting.