“The United States economy emerged from recession in June 2009 and has been growing for nearly five years. Yet this week, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of American adults found that 57 percent still think the economy is in recession,” the New York Times reports.
“It’s not hard to see why. People don’t take this as a technical economic research question; they take it to mean, ‘Is the economy good?’ And for much of America, despite years of modest gross domestic product growth and strong stock market gains, the economy isn’t good.”
Two trends are responsible:
“The labor market is still slack, meaning millions who would like to work can’t, and those who do work have limited ability to demand higher wages.”
“The other trend is a long-term one: For four decades, even in stronger economic times, wage gains have not kept pace with economic growth. Wages and salaries peaked at more than 51 percent of the economy in the late 1960s; they fell to 45 percent by the start of the last recession in 2007 and have since fallen to 42 percent.”