Good News

The economy’s problems include high unemployment, mediocre productivity gains and stagnant or slow-growing earnings for most income classes. While the state of the economy is far from ideal, there are some positives signs. America is in the process of continuing to recover from a deep recession.

The nation’s high school graduation rate has risen — to 78 percent in 2010. the Education Department says in its most recent estimate. It’s the highest figure since 1974. (For a long time, the rate was under 70 percent. After decades of stagnation, the graduation rate started to turn up in 2000, and the growth has been robust for more than a decade.) On average, these additional high school graduates — not to mention college degree recipients — will find better jobs and enjoy better health, long-lasting benefits that will be reaped for many decades.