Everyone in Omaha, Nebraska, seems to be hiring. The jobs are mostly casual, advertised in shop and restaurant windows, but they are hiring. It makes the place feel oddly prosperous compared to home where makeshift signs at building sites and elsewhere warn jobseekers in multiple languages to not even bother applying. The US is enjoying its best employment rate in more than a decade, with only 4.4% of its population out of work. On the surface, Omaha seems pretty prosperous. It's littered with block after block of strip malls populated mostly by upmarket burger joints and bars serving a vast array of craft beers. But scratch the surface and few are particularly busy and certainly none of them is overrun by customers. There are indications that several national firms are shutting up shop, leading to job losses. It's this sort of reality check that has restrained the US Fed from "normalising" interest rates. While more Americans are at work than at any point in the past decade, more a...

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