The New Normal

I was thinking today that the Maine economy doesn’t seem especially depressed, at least not here in the Blue Hill Peninsula. But of course it’s best to look these things up. When I saw the numbers I thought “yup, Maine’s unemployment rate is quite a bit lower than average.” And yet Maine’s unemployment rate is 8.1 percent. If in January 2009 you said to Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke “implementing your policies will lead to an 8.1 percent unemployment rate in July 2010” I think they’d both have said “that’s not good, we try some more robust policies.” And yet here we are with 8.1 percent unemployment looking not-so-bad.