As the Future Business Leaders of America, understanding and taking an interest in the happenings of the business world are important. By understanding the world of business we can prepare for the future, and be prepared to deal with the circumstances of the economy that we dive into as adults. Since 2008 the American economy has been plagued with what was deemed the “Great Recession”, but where does that leave us today in 2013?
In many ways the economy seems to be getting better, and we are said to be coming out of the recession. In terms of unemployment this is directly visible. Starting in 2008 the unemployment rates began to steadily rise. As the months and years went by unemployment rose until in 2010 it peaked at a high of 10.10 percent. Since the peak in 2010 however, the unemployment rate has been steadily going down. As of the end of February it was at 7.7 percent. For historical reference, unemployment rates during the Great Depression reached 25 percent, and in certain cities, such as Chicago, reached 50 percent.
The recent decline in the unemployment rate is due to the 236,000 new jobs the United States economy gained in February. This increase in jobs was created mostly as a result of a healthier economy in the private sector. The new jobs range in type from manufacturing, business services, to construction. The increase in construction job availability demonstrates that the housing market is beginning to recover. In contrast though, the number of jobs available in the public sector of employment went down recently. Throughout the country, the number of government jobs decreased by 10,000 in February.
Another indicator that the economy is recovering is the Stock Market. As a result of the decrease in unemployment rates, the Stock Market has shot up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a great way to measure this. The Dow is an average of 30 United States stocks, as well as a gauge of financial markets. At the end of February the Dow reached a new all-time high. The last high was on October 7th, 2007. This is an incredible improvement since in 2009 it reached a 12-year low. The new high is more than double the low back in 2009. This does not mean however that the economy is totally fixed, it just indicates that it is headed in the right direction. This is because stocks look ahead. The high of the stock market essentially means that investors are optimistic about the recovery of the housing and job markets. This is a good sign, but the stock market is not foolproof in predicting the economic upturns and downturns.
Having an understanding of the business world we will be emerging into, as we become adults, is essential. As Future Business Leaders of America, it is in our job description to educate ourselves on what is happening in the business world and have at least a general understanding of how this all affects us. As a fellow FBLA member, I encourage you to take an interest in the foundation of our organization!
Posted on Sun, April 7, 2013