You probably didn’t notice, but Monday, September 11 marked a milestone: the S&P 500 index’s bull market became the second-longest and the second-best performing in the modern economic era. Stock prices are up 270% from their low point after the Great Recession in March 2009—up 340% if you include dividends. That beats the 267% gain that investors experienced from June 1949 to August 1956. (The raging bull that lasted from October 1990 to March 2000 is still the winningest ever, and may never be topped.)
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and that means, to an economist, that sometimes it’s easier to communicate something complicated with a chart or a graph rather than a lot of explanatory text.
The U.S. unemployment rate has dipped below 5%, a recovery of jobs that nobody could have expected when we were in the teeth of the Great Recession. But the wealth of jobs is spread unevenly among U.S. states.