A visit to Brooklyn New York provides clear evidence of the effects of the downturn on the world’s largest economy. Though more affluent than many parts of the US , the growth of ‘discount’ retailing along high streets is only too familiar; while the run down state of local subway stations reflects a crumbling infrastructure.
This month’s figures for the US labour market also make for bleak reading, with only 88 000 new jobs being added compared to over 250 000 in February.
If unemployment is still officially falling then the number of people leaving the labour market continues to rise – the Wall Street Journal (06/04/13) reporting a participation rate (those in work or looking for it) of 63.3%, the lowest since 1979. A figure of 55% for under 25 year olds shows that even if college participation rates continue to increase, many young people may also have given up searching for a job completely.