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Economy

The numbers say the economy is improving, but average Americans aren't feeling it

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With unemployment down, U.S. car and truck sales up, and consumer sentiment indices up, all the traditional signs point to an improving economy.

So why is it that many of us aren't feeling this prosperity?

Tom Walsh dug into this question for the Detroit Free Press.

"I think the biggest part of it is that we've seen, for the better part of 40 years, wage stagnation in the middle class and below," says Walsh.

And he sees this partly as a result of technology taking jobs from not only traditionally physical labor, but now knowledge-based jobs as well.

But Walsh says there is one thing we can be thankful for. He points to inflation basically staying at zero, "so while people may not be getting raises, it's not killing them the way it would if inflation were rampaging at 10% or 12%."

While Walsh sees politicians from both sides trying to discuss the solution, he says they "seem to be talking about how do we improve a 20th century economy when we're in an economy that just behaves very differently."

So while the economy may be improving, Walsh says, "there's still a lot of jitteriness out there in the world."

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