2011 was a tough year for the U.S. economy, with continued high rates of unemployment, surging food and gas prices and concern over struggling European economies in countries such as Greece and Italy. With an eye toward the future, we asked economics professor William Dickens to analyze the U.S. economic outlook in 2012.
What are the biggest obstacles on the road to economic recovery in the U.S.?
There is recovery and then there is real recovery. Economic activity reached its low point in June 2009 and we have been in “recovery” since then. But this recovery hasn’t felt much like a recovery because unemployment has remained stubbornly high. Recently unemployment has dropped a bit, and a few hundred thousand jobs have been added, but this hides the fact that job growth has been nowhere near large enough to accommodate our growing population.