Posted tagged ‘Great Depression’

Government Optimistic on State of Economy

August 13, 2009

The Federal Reserve said yesterday that it appears that the economy in the US has halted the longest period of decline since the Great Depression, although it has cautioned that economic activity is likely to remain weak in the near term.

From CNN:

The central bank left its key overnight interest rate at a 0% to 0.25% range, as expected. Its statement at the conclusion of its two-day meeting said “economic activity is leveling out.”

That is the Fed’s most bullish assessment of the economy in more than a year, and suggests that a recovery may have started.

It said it still expects “inflation will remain subdued for some time” and said that it expects rates to remain near zero percent “for an extended period.”

The Fed cut interest rates to the record low range at its December meeting in an effort to spur the struggling U.S. economy at that time.

It also pumped about $1 trillion of cash into the economy during the last year through a number of extraordinary programs, including the purchase of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities, as well as new programs to get banks and other lenders to extend credit to consumers.

Unemployment Hits Gen Y Hard

January 16, 2009

I know a lot of people who are out of work right now. I feel very thankful to have a great job right now!

From MSNBC:

The land of milk and honey is souring for Generation Y, just as its members get their careers into full swing.

With the unemployment rate skyrocketing, employees under 30 have the most reason for worry. Joblessness is far higher among younger people than for those later in their careers.

For workers under 29, the unemployment rate jumped to more than 11 percent in December, compared with under 9 percent a year ago, according to Labor Department figures. That is far worse than the overall rate of 7.2 percent, up from 4.9 percent a year ago. The rate for teenage workers, from 16-19, is far worse — approaching 20 percent. For workers in their 30s and older, the rate is still under 7 percent, and generally declines as workers get older.

The staggering jobless numbers for twentysomething workers are no surprise to Lindsey Rhein, 24, of Placentia, Calif.

She’s been out of work for nearly four months after getting laid off as a legal assistant for a construction company.  She’s applied to over 700 jobs and has gotten only seven interviews, leading nowhere.

Even with a master’s degree in forensic psychology and a bachelor’s in sociology, she hasn’t been able to land a sales associate job at Target, and she can’t even get a call back from McDonald’s, where she applied for the fast food chain’s management training program two months ago.

“We were told it was our generation’s time to shine, that we could achieve our dreams plus more,” she says. “When I was laid off I thought finding another job was going to be cake.”

At a time when the nation is struggling with one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, Gen Yers like Rhein are facing a rude, job-hunting awakening. They often have to stand in line behind their more senior counterparts as any companies lucky enough to be hiring take their choice of more seasoned job applicants.

So baby boomers rushing to get Botox or dress hipper in order to compete in a tough job market may want to reconsider.

Older workers seem to have a leg up on the youngsters. It’s a harsh reality that happens in almost any downturn, economists and labor experts say, but this one has been particularly hard on younger workers because many were blindsided.

Does a Struggling Economy Mean Less Children for Families?

January 14, 2009

Interesting piece on MSNBC today. The American Psychological Association recently released findings that state that yhe economy is a leading source of worry for many Americans, with 80 percent saying they feel stress about their personal finances.

So what does this mean for those of us with kids who still want more?

From MSNBC:

With rising job cuts and home foreclosures, many financially crunched families have decided the time isn’t right to have a child, or another child.

Leeanne Ridley, a mom of three in Pembroke Pines, Fla., has a bad case of baby fever. But right now, fearing the worst in the current recession, her family is putting dreams for a fourth child on ice.

“I have always been told that if you wait until you can afford to have kids, you never will,” Ridley says. “But I worry about falling so far behind we won’t be able to pay the bills. Another baby would not be the right path to take right now.”

Birth rates do tend to drop in times of economic uncertainty. There was a dramatic decline in fertility rates following the Great Depression in the 1930s, when, for the first time in U.S. history, women went from having an average of three children the previous decade to two.

In each year after the country’s last four recessions, general fertility rates — calculated as the number of women of child-bearing age per thousand who gave birth — dipped slightly. For example, in the year following the 1973-1975 recession, fertility rates dropped from 68.8 in 1973 to 65 in 1976, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similarly, following the 1980-1982 recession, the fertility rate fell from 68.4 in 1980 to 65.7 in 1983.