Recession Leaves Many Behind

A recent New York Times article titled, “Why Some Scars From the Recession May Never Vanish” explores how even with the steady return of the U.S. job market after the recession, some workers are being left behind in the comeback.
In the article, it is reported that the unemployment rate has finally, “fallen below 5 percent.” However, this statistic does not reflect the loss of nearly 1.5 million prime working years adults—typically defined as ages 25 to 54—who have seemingly vanished from the economy. This inherently leads to the questions of where these workers went and what this means for the future of the U.S. economy.
The article references that, “many fell into drug addiction and poverty.” The article then proceeds to tie the disappearance of these workers to the rise in federal disability. While the report ultimately speculates and nuances these claims, a clear point is made: the recession may be ending, but everyone is not recovering equally.
Looking forward, this article illuminates that while the U.S. economy is bouncing back, there are large cohorts of people not partaking in the recovery. This may be due to societal ills like addiction and poverty or it could be showing that not working is becoming a more feasible and desirable option in the U.S. Either way, working patterns seem to be shifting and this will have an impact on the U.S. economy in the future.

Sarah Bratton