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Nearly Half of Americans Think the Recession Is Not Over

The U.S. economy has nearly recovered. Now someone has to convince Americans. Nearly half think the United States is still in recession, according to a recent Wall Street Journal poll. Some 76 percent don’t think their children’s generation will have a better life than they did. Americans are right to think they are worse off: Even if they have recovered financially, they have become aware that the economy is riskier than it used to be. They might never bounce back from that.

Economic well-being is not limited to wealth, earnings, and employment; security matters, too. All else being equal, a riskier environment is worse, economically speaking. Financial markets may be less volatile, but structural changes in the economy have increased risk for most Americans’ largest asset: future earnings.