A project of the Economic Opportunity Institute
2010 drew to a close with some promising signs that economic recovery from the Great Recession is finally taking hold. After two dismal years, consumer spending during the 2010 holiday shopping season surpassed the 2007 level. Private sector jobs are growing again, if slowly, and economists predict rates of growth for the U.S. economy in 2011 that at least will not dig the hole of recession deeper.
Extension of unemployment benefits for the millions still seeking work and middle class tax cuts from the federal tax compromise will continue to provide some economic stimulus in 2011. But expansion of jobs will be slow at best, while sharp reductions in public spending at all levels threatens to undermine the fragile recovery.
The recession, officially dated from December 2007 to June 2009, was the longest since World War II. A year and a half after the economy’s downward slide halted, our nation is still in the middle of the longest stretch of rising or stagnant unemployment since the Great Depression. Jobs have declined steadily when adjusted for population growth, and job counts in much of the country are lower than they were five years ago. By mid-2010, over 4.5 million people had been jobless for over a year.
Today the nation faces an escalating foreclosure crisis, disputes over how to deal with the growing federal deficit, and continuing cuts in federal, local, and state government spending that weaken business and job growth while decimating public services and the very public structures necessary to rebuild a healthy and sustainable economy.
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from the Economic Opportunity Institute. Liquid layout thanks to Matthew James Taylor.