The economic recovery of summer 2013 is playing out in an all-too-familiar way for poor and middle-class Americans: Gas prices are up, growth is slowing, and there still aren’t nearly enough new jobs to employ the almost 12 million people seeking work.
An improving housing market and rising stock prices appear to have done little to increase the take-home pay of the typical U.S. worker. And while the economy continues to heal faster than that of almost any other Western nation, evidence remains strong that the recovery has done little to boost the fortunes of people in the vast economic middle.
Economic indicators released Thursday continue to show a mixed picture of the recovery — and certainly not one pointing to a surge in working-class incomes any time soon.
On the plus side, new claims for jobless benefits fell last week from the week before; economists stressed that seasonal factors could be driving the decline but said the overall trend suggests the economy could be on pace to add about 200,000 jobs this month. On the down side, the index of leading indicators — a broad measure of economic health — was unchanged in June, falling short of economists’ predictions.