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It’s been better and it’s been worse. Unemployment is holding at about 7.8 percent. Employment growth is stuck at a slower pace than in any recovery in the past half-century. And although job growth looks like it may be on the upswing, studies find that we don’t just have a jobs deficit—we have a “good jobs” deficit. During the downturn, the disappearance of midwage, midskill jobs was just part of a longer-term trend that some refer to as a “hollowing out” of the work force, accelerated by government layoffs.

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