We seem to be hearing more and more about how our economy is getting stronger; that we’re recovering from the recession. But is it true, or is it only that the numbers are starting to look better?
For instance, in June 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that according to the US government’s Household Survey, overall, jobs increased by 753,000. That sounds like quite a bit, but when you take into consideration that almost 560,000 of those jobs are part-time. Full time employment was on the decline, in general, in June 2013. The 7.6% unemployment number that we hear all the time is misleading, because when you take into account the number of underemployed part-time workers and people who have given up searching for jobs, the unemployment rate is something more like 14%. Many new jobs are also minimum-wage jobs that don’t pay a living wage.
Important aspects of our economy, such as real estate and the mortgage market, are avenues that can spur growth and recovery. Unemployed or underemployed people can’t get mortgages, can’t buy property, and can’t pay property taxes or be a part of the general economic recovery in a positive way. Job growth and job creation needs to be a priority for the US right now, so that our real estate and mortgage markets can remain healthy and stable, and so people can be a part of the American Dream: owning their own home.