Opinion | America’s Very Peculiar Economic Funk – The New York Times

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Financial

I’ve been on a few trips recently and took the opportunity to do a bit of naked-eye economic assessment. As I’m sure many people can confirm, planes are flying full, while shops and restaurants are jammed. It definitely looks like a booming economy out there.That’s also what the numbers say. In his State of the Union address, President Biden — while acknowledging that inflation has eroded wage gains — pointed to the 6.5 million jobs added last year, “more jobs created in one year than ever before in the history of America.” This claim was entirely correct.Yet the public doesn’t believe it. According to a new survey by Navigator Research, only 19 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is experiencing more job growth than usual, while 35 percent say that it is experiencing more job losses than usual.You might be tempted to say that ordinary Americans don’t pay attention to official statistics, that what matters is their lived experience. But what people are actually experiencing in their daily lives is a very strong job market. For example, according to the latest survey from the Conference Board, 53.8 percent of consumers said that jobs were “plentiful,” a near-record, while only 11.8 percent said that jobs were hard to get. And anyone who walks around U.S. cities can see the proliferation of help-wanted signs.The survey results on the job market are, as I see it, the final nail in the coffin of attempts to deny that there’s something very peculiar going on with how Americans perceive the economy, that there’s a huge disconnect between economic reality, which is mixed — inflation is a big concern, but job growth has been terrific — and public percept …
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