The number of Americans out of work for a full year or longer reached an all-time high last year. It's declining now, but very slowly. The cost to both those out of work and those who are employed is high.
Though it's likely to be 2014 before the economy picks up enough steam for robust job creation -- in the neighborhood of 250,000 a month -- it's worth looking now at what kind of jobs employers will be looking to fill.
Tepid productivity growth is helping to spur more hiring now, but if the sluggishness continues indefinitely -- as some economists are predicting -- it could impede a rise in wages and living standards.
President Obama and Mitt Romney, front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, are both promising tougher enforcement of U.S. trade laws. But it won't be as easy -- or as effective -- as their pledges imply.
As the U.S. population ages and globalization creates more competition for money-management services, information technology will get smarter, too. But can tech help hedge your risks in investing and retirement planning?