In the aggregate the US labor market is recovering slowly from the Covid Recession. Unemployment is currently around 6%.
Because this recession killed jobs of low-wage workers, real weekly earnings of full-time workers increased substantially during it. The difficulties lie behind the aggregates. Earnings inequality continued to rise, with the growth in earnings concentrated in, although not restricted to, workers in the upper half of the distribution of earnings.
Even though labor force participation rates of people aged 55+ have been constant for the past decade, those of adult men aged 16–54 have dropped, continuing a trend. Surprisingly so too have those of women aged 16–54, sharply reversing the previous trend and easily offsetting increases in participation of older Americans.
The earnings of African-American workers relative to whites’ earnings have not risen over this 20-year period. Those of Hispanics have, but both remain far below those of whites.
Having government leaders with health and medical backgrounds may become increasingly valuable as the health consequences of climate change, environmental pollution, and threats of infectious diseases continue to escalate in the interconnected world.