The real problem is that, with lower-middle class households (you know, the ones that make just enough to not qualify for any government help), all money is generally spent on non-negotiables (e.g., food, gasoline, rent, household bills, possibly medicine). There often isn’t even money left over for emergencies, let alone clothing or extras. Forget about spending money on many “extras” - there isn’t even money left to save! And simply being able to buy essentials doesn’t really help the economy at all.
Honestly, the reason why employment remains low is due to demand being low. The reason demand is low is because a large percentage of the middle class have seen their gross wages stagnate and their net wages decrease while the cost of essentials has risen. If these employees have received a raise, it is more than cancelled out by the increases in insurance premiums (if they still have insurance through their employer) and/or the increase in food costs, because the raises are smaller than inflation and/or health care costs.
Businesses would be benefitted by self-imposing rules that require set percentages of profit-sharing among the employees of the business. I don’t know what the set percentages should be, but I’ll say, maybe 25% of payroll should be to upper managment, 25% to mid-level managment, and maybe 50% to lower-level employees. Maybe the upper-level percentage should be slightly smaller or larger, I don’t know, but the idea is that it should not only be the upper-level employees who participate in the company’s success and not only the lower-level employees who participate in a company’s failures (by getting laid off without fanfare or parachute). And, it’s possible, that if the employees were paid better, they would, in turn, spend their money at the company they work at, increasing profits for all, and allowing the employers to hire more people.
The problem with so-called “trickle down” economics is that the money hasn’t trickled down - it’s been used solely to make the rich richer.