Janet Yellen, Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, surveying the state of the economy,
said that even now, almost five years after the official end of the Great Recession, it remains harder for Americans to find jobs than in the midst of a typical downturn. For those who are working, wages are rising more slowly than usual.
“There remains no doubt that the economy and the job market are not back to normal health,” Ms. Yellen said. “The recovery still feels like a recession to many Americans and it also looks that way in some economic statistics.”
Five years, now, since the “official end” of the recession and longer than that, of course, since its official beginning. Ms. Yellen, as Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times reports, is reaching out to some of the casualties and "devoted more than an hour last week talking by telephone with three Chicago area residents struggling to find jobs."
In her first public speech since assuming her new title Ms. Yellen
related the story of Dorine Poole, who lost a job processing medical insurance claims during the recession. “When employers started hiring again, two years of unemployment became a disqualification … Even those needing her skills and experience preferred less qualified workers without a long spell of unemployment. That career, that part of Dorine’s life, has ended.”
Ms. Yellen seems less inclined than her predecessor to worry about inflation.
For the long term unemployed, like Ms. Poole, just about everything is priced out of reach.
And getting more so.