We now know that the U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annualized rate in the last quarter of 2013, and grew 1.9 percent during all of 2013. This is simply too slow to generate a full recovery from the damage inflicted by the Great Recession in a reasonable amount of time. Too many policymakers seem eager to move on to other economic issues, but the necessary condition for addressing almost every other economic challenge—be it boosting job quality or increasing opportunity or checking the rise of extreme inequality—is a return to full employment, and that should be the nation’s first priority.
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