Are You Better Off Now Than at the Last Dow High?

James Greiff is an editor for Bloomberg View. He was Wall Street news team leader at Bloomberg News and senior editor for Bloomberg Markets magazine. He previously reported on banking for the St. Petersburg Times and the Charlotte Observer.
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With the Dow Jones Industrial Average having breached its October 2007 pre-crisis record, a bit of perspective is in order by way of a then-versus-now comparison. Here are a few data points:

Unemployment rate: Then, 4.7 percent; now, 7.9 percent.
Total unemployed: Then, 7.23 million; now, 12.33 million.
Labor force participation: Then, 65.8 percent; now, 63.6 percent.
Gross domestic product growth: Then, 2.2 percent; now, 1.6 percent.
Total public debt to GDP: Then, 36.3 percent; now, 74.2 percent.
Total public debt: Then, $9 trillion; now, $16.7 trillion.
Federal budget deficit: Then, $162 billion; now, $1.09 trillion.
Consumer confidence: Then, 95.2; now, 69.6.
Total household debt: Then, $13.7 trillion; now, $12.87 trillion
30-year mortgage rate: Then, 6.4 percent; now, 3.51 percent.
Median existing home price: Then, $206,700; now, $173,600.
Median household income: Then, $54,489; now, $50,054.
U.S. corporate profits: Then, $1.46; now, $1.97 trillion.
Dollar versus major currencies: Then, 78.5; now, 82.1.
Crude oil per barrel: Then, $80.26; now, $90.87.
Regular gasoline per gallon: Then, $2.77; now, $3.74.
Federal funds rate: Then, 4.75 percent; now, 0.25 percent.
Federal Reserve assets: Then, $890 billion; now, $3.1 trillion.
30-Year Treasury yield: Then, 4.86 percent; now, 3.1 percent.
Inflation rate: Then, 3.5 percent; now, 1.6 percent.
Misery index: Then, 7.5; now, 9.5.

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