The December jobs report, in the grand sweep of things — not month to month, but year to year and even decade to decade — shows the economy’s come a long way. Unemployment, at 4.1 percent, is now several points lower than it was before the Great Recession hit. We’ve had more than seven years of strong, steady job growth, one of the longest recoveries on record. And African-American unemployment just hit an all-time low (since data started being collected in 1972) at 6.8 percent. But the labor force participation rate remains more than 3 percent below its pre-recession level. And that means about 3.5 million fewer people in their prime working years — ages 25 to 54 — are in the workforce now.
Click the audio player above to hear the full story.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.