Economy shows signs of picking up, but is it enough?

10:19 PM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
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A crane removes a container from a ship at the Port of Baltimore's Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore. (Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- It's a fact: The economy is growing. 

New numbers show it grew by 1.7% in the second quarter. But, how does it feel by you? 

WUSA9 visited several towns and asked people. Old Town, Alexandria is electric with the signs of spending money, busy streets, packed cafes, and pocketbooks waiting to be opened. 

Ann Force of Annandale visited to take her son to a museum, "I see more and more people out, more people eating at restaurants, more people going to movies, things like that. And I think it's getting a little bit better."

But, University of Maryland Professor and Economist Peter Morici says the growth we've had is not enough, "1.7% is hardly a rate of growth and productivity so it keeps the jobs market very depressed, businesses can do it just by speeding up the assembly line, that means there's not a lot of demand for labor and so workers are not in a good position to negotiate." 

In the Washington Metro area, the unemployment rate ticked up a half percentage point to 6%. But that's an average covering towns and cities from Manassas to Montgomery Village and everywhere in between. 

So, what's the economy like near you?

You could see a private yacht up for charter in Old Town while across the river in Ward 8, economic challenges are just about everywhere you look.

At the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Malcolm X, one man who's looking for work told us Congress is to blame, "they ain't gonna do their job then they can hire people like me to come up there and compromise." 

Morici agrees, "On either side of Pennsylvania Avenue, it's hard to find a lot of creative, constructive or responsible behavior." 

President Obama made his rounds to visit both sides before August recess. When they get back, it's back to the budget. And hopefully, back to a bigger bump in the economy. 

Morici is doubtful, saying this of the Democrats and the Republicans, "Two oracles standing on separate mountaintops, each looking in the wrong direction.

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