The Recoveryless Recovery

Here’s the latest on real GDP with the revisions:

This should make clear, I think, that basically every story you’ve read over the past 18 months explaining the “jobless recovery” is kind of bunk. No recovery, no jobs. Personally, I think this was pretty clear even before the revisions, which is why I never put much stock in either leftwing or rightwing versions of the “corporations have found a magical way to increase production of goods and services without employing people” narratives. It’s true that firms have achieved very high profit margins, but the overall story is of an American economy that contains more workers and better technology than we had in 2008 but still isn’t making new stuff.