Officially, the U.S. economy has been in recovery since June 2009. But even with corporate profits and stock markets thriving, unemployment has been stuck at just below 8 percent since September.
"So far in this recovery, corporations have captured an unusually high share of the income gains," said Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as quoted in The New York Times. "The U.S. corporate sector is in a lot better health than the overall economy. And until we get a full recovery in the labor market, this will persist."
With more than 12 million people still looking for work, when will Americans feel the improvement?
Neil Irwin, Washington Post columnist and the economics editor of Wonkblog, will join The Daily Circuit Wednesday, March 6, to discuss the recovery.
Last December, he wrote in the Washington Post that 2013 might be the year the recovery finally takes hold:
The good news is that the forces that have been holding back the economy at last are abating. Housing is now adding to growth in a big way (and poised to do so even more), consumer debt burdens are way down, and state and local governments seem to have largely finished their steep retrenchment. Even the euro-zone crisis has entered a less scary phase, with the continent facing a nasty recession but no longer a catastrophe that could upend the global financial system.
The bad news is that new threats are emerging to take their place. The most immediate are home-grown: the risk of a sudden onset of federal austerity born of a dysfunctional political system. As Goldman Sachs economists titled a report, judging what growth will look like in 2013 is a question of "Economics vs. Politics."
Thomas Boston, professor of economics at Georgia Tech University and founder and CEO of EuQuant, an economic consulting company, will also join the discussion.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY:
Recovery in U.S. is lifting profits, but not adding jobs (New York Times)
Will 2013 bring a genuine, no-holds-barred recovery? (Washington Post)
Why the unemployment rate is so high (New York Times)
The legacy of the Great Recession (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)