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Can’t wait to hear what that crazy old plutocrat Jack Welch and the Fixed News squawkers  have to say about this headline:

US jobless claims fall to 339K, fewest in 4½ years.

Now, obviously, the economy remains fragile and we have a long way to go. But this news seems to jive with lots of other recent indicators that the economy is, on the whole, trending gradually upwards and that, for all of its problems, things are clearly and demonstrably better than they were when the country was confronting the very real prospect of a second Great Depression in late 2008 and early 2009.

As North Carolinians are learning the hard way, not all recessions are followed by robust economic recoveries.  For all our concern over the current recovery, however, the years between the 2001 recession and the Great Recession of 2007-2009 also generated historically unprecedented negative economic trends. As the latest issue of Prosperity Watch demonstrates, the nation’s (and state’s) poverty rate failed to drop in the years of the formal recovery following the 2001 recession–the first time since the 1930s that post-recession economic growth proved unable to reduce poverty across the United States.  For more details, see Prosperity Watch.

North Carolina’s communities of color were more than two times as likely to live in poverty as whites in 2011, according to a report released last week by the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center. People of color were particularly hard hit by the Great Recession and the previous economic conditions and policy decisions that resulted in less access to pathways to the middle class. U.S. Census Bureau data show that the ongoing economic recovery from the recession is only serving to exacerbate the long-entrenched racial disparities in poverty. Read More