On the Dole: The Effects of Economic Recession on Employment

By: Bobbie McKee


[I:1:J]There is a lot of talk about economic recession nowadays. People are complaining how economic recession is making their lives worse. The economic recession often refers to the two quarters of negative economic growth. A severe recession which lasts for more than two years, becomes a depression.
A recession is characterised by rising unemployment, increase in government borrowing, decrease of share and stock prices, and falling investment. All of these characteristics have effects on people.
People have a general understanding of the recessions' negative effects. But how does an ordinary consumer get affected by a recession, employment in particular is not really clear.
John Schmitt and Dean Baker released a new report on the possible impact of the recession on What We're In For, Projected Economic Impact of the Next Recession this year. In their report, the 2008 recession in United States is perceived to raise the national employment rate between 2.1 and 3.8 percentage points. This would be an equivalent of between 3.2 million and 5.8 million unemployed Americans. CalculatedRisk stated, based on this report and United States' recession history, that economic downturn can be measured in how high the unemployed number of people rises.
Based from the United States recession history, there had been a handful of times when the unemployment rate has risen during an expansion. Unemployment had risen by 0.5 percent or and there were instances that it is less. But this scenarios happen when the country is not under any economic downfall. When the unemployment percentage reaches 0.6 percent, the economy is described to be under a recession. This year, the U.S. unemployment rate is nearly 1.1 percent.
Economists, until now have not yet formally labelled the economic downturn of the United States as an economic recession. Amidst falling home equity, the rising cost of food, health care and housing along with disturbing number of unemployment, economists is still claiming that there is still growth in the economy, even though it is small. People found it unnecessary for a formal announcement to actually feel the recession coming in.
According to Miami Herald, people unemployed are starting get desperate. The number or people out of work for six months or more increased from 160,000 from July to August. There are 10.7 percent of people who would like to have a full time job but are unable to do so. Due to unavailability of working positions.
It does not matter if you have a college degree under your belt. College graduates this year are also experiencing the highest unemployment rate since 2004 with 2.7 percent. Meanwhile, 9.6 percent of high school graduates are unemployed and this figure is also highest rate since 1996.
Most of the job losses are in the manufacturing sector, which lost 61,000 jobs this year. In the manufacturing industry, Miami Herald cited 20 percent of job loss even though the export numbers are increasing.
Even though the pay or salary is increasing, a 3.6 percent increase compared to 2007 salary, it is insufficient compared to the fast rate of increase in the prices of primary commodities. The consumers' buying power is still low. Food and beverage costs are 5.8 percent higher than 2007.
For those who were left employed and thanking their lucky stars, there is still a hitch. Companies are already cutting the health coverage for their employees. Currently, $694 and $3,281, respectively, according to the most recent data by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Economic recession is an event which is very difficult for everybody. Hopefully, the real economic status will be recognized immediately to be properly addressed and solve.

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