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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.

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