However the key question is whether you are better off than four years ago.
The answer depends on where you live and your profession.
On the average Americans, despite the rhetoric, are better off. However in several key states, including Nevada, unemployment remains high, under employment very high and home values very much "under water."
Nationally home values are up between 5 and 12% over last year, depending on which national reporting agency you believe. The percentage "underwater" is way down. But then foreclosures have increased which literally takes away the credit, and the underwater status of many homeowners.
Chrysler has gone from bankrupt to the most profitable and highest selling car company in the world. New plants are opening in the US, primarily in lower labor cost Right to Work states, and car sales are trending up. The bail out worked.
National income levels are up to pre-recession levels, however the mean (discounting the ultra right and the extremely poor) remains lower than pre-recession level. Unemployment numbers contribute to this trend.
One key change in employment is the job market. The recession is the first one to hit all levels of employment, from migrant workers to CEO's, office to service worker, and now increasingly government employees (including teachers, police officers, fire"persons", medical, road and sewer, garbage and all other services).
The graph below shows that unemployment continues to grow in numbers long after a recession is considered to be over. This time it is speculated that many jobs have disappeared and we are being made to increase "productivity", which means do increasing amounts of work per job, while other job shave been shipped to other countries, so the recovery may never reach pre-recession numbers.
It is also the first recession to have its greatest impact on working older adults as well as young adults entering the work place. Many older adults have lost their jobs and are deemed overqualified or too old (not openly, but in the reality of hiring) to reenter the work force in other positions.
Lots of rhetoric, but has either candidate really offered specific plans and solutions to these problems and how to get the economy on track of all American workers and families?
I am interested in any research or information you may find that you can forward to me (with or as a web address please).
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Interesting site from the Federal Government that outline career outlooks (click here).