Understanding the Lost Decade for Jobs and Incomes

UPDATE: For more on NDN's Lost Decade narrative, read the new NDN White Paper entitled, "A Lost Decade for Everyday Americans."

With the White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth getting underway, now is a good time to note that the problem isn’t just jobs. As we’ve long argued and the Wall Street Journal pointed out recently, the last decade has been a lost one for everyday Americans. First, we generally note that, even as GDP and productivity surged, household income didn’t keep up. In fact, the average household income took more than a $2000 loss during the Bush presidency. 

A second point, illustrated by the Wall Street Journal, is that private sector employment has basically not grown in a decade.

It is difficult to understand how bad this recession has been without fully understanding the pre-recession weakness of the American consumer caused by dropping incomes and higher costs. NDN’s Dr. Rob Shapiro – who is at the White House Forum right now – has agued that structural dynamics in the American economy have broken down its job creation and wage growth capability. For NDN’s latest thinking on these important issues, please consult: