In his latest New Republic column, Daniel Drezner makes the following claim:
...there is a significant lag between the reporting of good economic news and the internalization of that news by Americans. Earlier this month, an Associated Press poll found that 57 percent of respondents believed the nation has lost jobs in the last six months, even though 1.2 million jobs had been created during that span.The data does not demonstrate what Drezner thinks it does.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the US population grows at 0.94% per year. Thats about 2.7 million people per year.
Job growth of 1.2 million jobs per 6 months actually trails population growth.
Now Drezner is right of course that the absolute number of jobs has increased. But people's perception of the labor market tracks how difficult it is for them to find a job, which depends on how many people compete for those jobs; not simply the absolute number of jobs.
Obvious, one would think.
Given that job growth has trailed population growth, the reason people have not absorbed the good news is that there aren't any.