Economy jumps ahead, but few folks notice

The latest report from the U.S. Commerce Department about the state of the nation’s economy has me wondering about something.

When are Americans going to start accepting that we are recovering from the Great Recession of 2008-2009?

Commerce officials report that the economy grew 4.1 percent in the third quarter, which is revised upward from 3.6 percent — which isn’t a bad report, either.

Joblessness is down to 7 percent. We’re adding an average of just less than 200,000 jobs a month; the vast bulk of those jobs are in the private sector. Foreclosure rates on homes are at a five-year low. Companies are making money. The stock market is rockin’ and rollin’. The Federal Reserve Board is going to start scaling back the stimulus initiatives it launched with its bond-buying.

And yet …

We keep hearing pundits, commentators and some economists harping about a struggling economy.

I totally understand that a 7 percent unemployment rate isn’t good. It’s a lot better than where it was four years ago. And it’s trending downward.

Some leading individuals — such as former Texas Workforce Chairman Tom Pauken — have griped openly about what they’ve called a “jobless recovery.” Employers are finding they’re able to boost productivity with fewer employees; I despise the term “workers,” by the way. However, we’re not in the middle of a “jobless recovery.”

I should add that energy production — which helps fuel the Texas economy — is way up. The Energy Department reports our oil imports are way down and the United States is on the verge of becoming the world’s leading producer of fossil fuels, a spot occupied for many decades by Russia.

The gloomy Gus crowd, though, keeps winning the argument.

How come? What am I missing?

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