Univest Montgomery County Marketing President Phil Jackson says the economy has been technically in recovery for about the last year, with an improving gross domestic product for example, but it has not really reached Main Street. “I would say that we haven’t seen the kind of growth in things that you would normally see like growth in inventory, growth in expanding facilities, sales going up. I would say it’s stabilized, but I would not characterize it as a total turnaround yet.”
He says the government shows the unemployment rate dropping, but those numbers are politicized and hard to analyze, so he looks at something else.
“One of the key numbers I look at is the percentage of those that are employable that are actually employed. You can’t fool around with those numbers, and unfortunately that number is in the low 60 percent, so of all the people out there that can be employed, 60 percent are employed, and that is at a historic low.”
Jackson says that number has been going down, despite some government reports suggesting an improving employment picture. He says when the real estate market turns around it will give the economy some real momentum, but that hasn’t happened yet.