Neil Irwin and Alicia Parlapiano of The Washington Post report with this interactive graphic on why it doesn’t feel like we’re in a recovery:
The nation’s economic woes boil down to this. Compared with a healthy economy, about 7 million working-age people and 5 percent of the nation’s industrial capacity are sitting idle, not producing what they could. The economy is growing again, but at a rate — less than 2 percent in recent months — that’s too slow to keep up with a population that keeps increasing and workers who keep getting more efficient.
A step-by-step guide explains the output gap, the difference between potential and actual output.