Reprinted from the Economic Policy Institute by Elise Gould on January 5, 2017.
“With [Friday’s] jobs report we can look at the entirety of 2017—putting the year as a whole in perspective and comparing 2017 with 2007, the last business cycle peak before the Great Recession began,” writes Elise Gould for the Economic Policy Institute. “[Wednesday], I provided a fairly broad overview of the year with context since the last business cycle peak before the Great Recession (2007) and the last time the US economy was at full employment (2000).
“As the recovery has strengthened we’ve seen improvements in all measures of employment, unemployment, and wage growth. These measures tell a consistent story—an economy on its way to full employment, but not there yet. Taking a data-driven approach to policymaking would mean continuing to push, keeping interest rates low and letting the economy recover for Americans across genders, races, ethnicities, and levels of educational attainment.
“Payroll employment growth in December was 148,000, bringing average job growth in 2017 to 171,000. The figure below shows average employment growth over the last several years. While more than enough to keep up with population growth and pull in workers from the sidelines, job growth in 2017 was noticeably slower than in recent years. …