Ed. note: The following essay is cross-posted from Secretary of Labor Tom Perez’s Medium account.
Our nation’s continued recovery from the worst recession in generations has given us a lot to celebrate. We saw over 3 million jobs created in 2014, the best year since the end of the Clinton administration. We’re experiencing the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record. Our businesses created more than 200,000 jobs in 15 of the past 17 months — the first time that has happened since 1995. In 2009, there were seven job seekers for every open job. Today there are fewer than two.
But our job isn’t done yet. While productivity has increased more than 90 percent since 1979, real wages are still not climbing fast enough. A lot of people are back to work, but far too many families are finding it nearly impossible to get ahead.