Americans, in increasing numbers, have given up looking for work. Part of this is that the welfare system makes taking a job very expensive, because many of the welfare benefits disappear as income rises. But, that isn't the only source of folks giving up. The other source is the lack of job opportunities in a no-growth economy. The only thing growing is the number of Americans who no longer consider themselves part of the labor force. That number is at an all time record in absolute value and in percentage of the population.
That fact is the complete explanation for the relatively low unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. The numerator only contains people actually looking for a job. If people give up, they are not counted. So that the nearly 100 million Americans who are not working and not looking are not considered unemployed.
We are witnessing the slow and gradual euthenasia of the American economy. The media thinks this is great and is a marvelous economic recovery, even though growth rates in this recovery are less than half of the recovery rates of any previous recovery. This is a pitiful economy and it is getting worse.
So, who does well in an economy like this. The answer: the wealthy and those with "protected" jobs. The biggest classes of "protected" jobs are government bureaucrats and teachers.
Those who suffer the most are the poor, the minorities, the least-advantaged members of our society. Those who work in the private sector are not generally protected, so they will find their real incomes continue to decline.
Meanwhile the bureaucrats and the protected will sing the praises of this economy. Why shouldn't they like it. It works for them.