United States, Paddy Hirsch, NPR discussed on The Indicator from Planet Money

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The most underrated trend of the past past decade ready. I'm ready all right. Well you know. I hope our listeners in our listeners. Ready exactly our top underrated trend brand of the decade is the spooky consistency of US economic growth. So the economy has been following a weirdly steady path all decade-long along but that consistency it sounds like a pretty positive thing but it is both a good and a bad thing. That's right it's good. Obviously because the economy has at least continued. Can you growing the entire decade rather than stumbling back into a recession but the consistency is bad because the pace of that growth has been very very slow. And that's especially especially when you consider how devastating the last recession was and so a lot of people a lot of workers and people who want to work have only just recently started benefiting from the economy's recovery even though it is more than a decade old and here's some indicators demonstrate both sides of the story the US economy has now been growing for one hundred twenty six straight straight months including this month. which makes it the longest economic expansion ever but on the other hand throughout the expansion? The economy's only been growing at an annual pace of about two point three percent. That is the slowest pace of growth for any expansion. Going all the way back to the nineteen forties. Now take a look at the unemployment rate. The two thousand ten's will we'll be the first full decade in which the unemployment rate has fallen every single year. That's going all the way back to win. Records were first kept in the late nineteen forties and this sounds awesome right right. I mean falling unemployment means more people getting jobs. This is all good. It should be awesome but hold the celebrations because the decline in the unemployment rate has been super gradual Joel. Not until eight years into the economic recovery to the unemployment rate fall back to where it was before the recession. This means that there were a lot of people who could not find work after the recession. Who have only recently found good consistent work and there are other signs of labor market health? It did not get back to where they were until just this year. This is a horribly horribly longtime to wait and you can look at a bunch of charts showing these and other trends. They all kind of look like straight lines and we'll post the charts at NPR dot org slash money if you WANNA see more but the overall impression they give is one of constant but very slow improvement and this is harmed low income workers the most at the same time they see. I got to say. Hey you know when you think about all that stuff that happened in the past decade the stuff that we listed when we started the episode yeah it is kind of amazing that the US economy just kept going right on through it. It's like the tortoise and the hare like slow and steady. Yeah except like. It's bad that it was so slow. Yeah but it also could have been worse. It's sort of like a big Mac. Is I think the way to describe the past decade but like more like a mess. Give me like a map of the next. I'm kind of hoping that that the upcoming decade can kinda like reverse these things we're like the. US economy grows at really fast awesome pays and it helps workers and society's most vulnerable and everything is calm everywhere else Like for math too. Yeah Yeah exactly and also economics journalists like you and I could use a decade of you know good good news. We might lose our jobs but I would. I think it's worth it. It would be worth it. This episode of the indicator is produced by Rafi on our intern. Is Nadia Lewis. Our editor is Paddy Hirsch and the indicator is a production of N._p._R...

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