In lieu of a more traditional Independence Day post, in view of the fact that the economic expansion turned 8 years old this week, I thought I would take a moment to highlight how far we have come. Because as mediocre as some things are, we have come a long, long way since the dark days of June 30, 2009.
Unemployment has fallen from a high of 10.0 to 4.2%, and underemployment has fallen from 17.1% to 8.4%:
As of May, real median household income just made a new high (h/t Doug Short):
Since this statistic is skewed by the increasing share of households headed by retirees, the odds are pretty good that working age real median household income is actually doing a little better.
In real terms, the amount of wages paid out to regular nonsupervisory workers has increased by about 22%:
Finallly, real GDP per capita has increased by 11%:
None of this is stellar. In particular, I wish that wage growth were more stout.
But when you compare where we were then with where we are now, there’s no contest. So Happy 4th of July, economy!