America’s Sputtering Economy, by the Numbers

Filed under: Features,The Economy |

by Braden Goyette ProPublica

Updated Aug. 5 with the latest job numbers and other stats. This post has also been corrected [1].

With increasing signs that the economy is laboring [2], most economists agree that a short-term infusion of spending, or an extension of

Restaurant kitchen worker

Real wages declined, hitting workers in lower-wage jobs, like food service, the hardest.

this year’s temporary cut in Social Security taxes, could help fend off a new downturn. But whatever one thinks of the debt deal — and most of its billions in cuts won’t come for a few years [3] — there’s a near-consensus [4] in Washington against spending increases.

Here’s a brief overview of some key stats on where the economy stands.

The economy by your numbers (suggested by our readers on Twitter):

What stats best describe our economy? Tweet at @ProPublica [30] or email Braden [31]. Make sure to include your source.

Correction: This post initially said that there are 4.98 unemployed people per job opening. In fact, there were 4.64 unemployed people per job opening as of May 2011, the most recent month when data about job openings was collected.


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