An economic crisis is highly linked to the high unemployment rates in the United States. Americans are still of the view that the 2008 recession is continuing. This was the worst recession to hit America since the Second World War.
Americans with minimum wage are the most affected. The cost of living is increasing every year yet the increase in their wages is still inadequate to cater for the increased cost of living (Liesman).
The financial crisis is disrupting every aspect of the lives of American citizens. According to records at the Reference Population Bureau, the recession has reduced the household income considerably.
Each resident is affected by the economic crisis. No matter the profession or location in the United States, the economic crisis has an impact on your life. Some of these stories will give you a deeper feel of the pain and agony Americans have experienced because of the recession.
The recession has caused many people to make certain changes in their lives involuntarily. Karen a sales woman who has been in the fashion industry laments, “The recession has caused my working hours to be reduced by a half”.
John, a recent graduate in arts, is struggling to get employment. He says, “It has reached a point that I am just looking for any job to do before I get the job I had studied for at the university”.
Similar cases of students settling for odd jobs are quite common in America. In many hotels and restaurants, you find dishwashers having degrees. The hope for young people like John seems to be dwindling with current research showing that economic recovery may take some time (Pew Research Center 1). Each industry has been affected by the economic crisis. Factories orders have reduced to a certain amount, whereas the number of job layoffs has increased tremendously. The increase in unemployment caused a reduction in the labor work force. High unemployment rate is used as a general indicator of the economic state of a labor market. Unemployment affected many individuals. The poor economic state forced businesses to cut down on costs, which resulted to increased layoffs. Michael, a supermarket assistant, was relieved of his duties, as the supermarket could not afford to pay him. What has followed this is unthinkable to Michael who now struggles to raise a family of three children.
Getting a job is even more difficult with the employers saying that openings will come about when the economy gets better.
Michael says, “Getting another job would require me to retrain for a different course to get another skill set that may increase my chances of getting another job but this is just another long shot”.
Michael can only be able to get short part time jobs. What makes it even more difficult for him is that the workload involved in these part time jobs is so much that once he gets home all he can do is sleep. His old age has reduced much of his strength. Based on statistics from the labor department, 65% of the jobs added in the economy since July 2013 has been part-time (El Nasser, Overberg, and Cauchon). This has been accompanied by a reduction in the wage salary per hour.
The unemployment benefits in the United States are the worst as compared to most countries. Thus, being unemployed for Michael is not an option he is willing to take.
The housing market was significantly affected by the recession. The housing industry contributes significantly in terms of offering employment opportunities. Residential house construction offers various opportunities for potential construction workers. Because of the recession, most construction workers were laid off. Additionally, investments in real estate reduced.
Andrew, a homeowner, notes that the recession affected his real estate business. He says, “The prices of the residential houses reduced drastically as the number of investors reduced. Selling a home was difficult, as the value has reduced”. This was a major problem to him as he continues and says, “As a result of the reduction in the value of my home, the bank declined to give me home equity loans. This then halted my other investments plans”.
Walter, a 28-year-old accountant, says that the recession has influenced some of his life changing decisions.
He notes, “The current pay I make is not enough for me to sustain a family and cannot allow me to acquire a house even with the use of mortgage”.
The case of reduced and delayed marriages is also a common scenario because of the recession. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of women over 18 years who are getting married has fallen below 50%.
Some of the young people have resulted to living together without getting married to pull their resources together.
Martin a 26-year-old civil engineer says, “I have decided to move in with my girlfriend and delay marriage until we are financially stable. This may reduce our cost of living such as rent money”.
He adds, “If we truly love each other there is no need of incurring the cost of two houses in these hard times of the economy”.
Mark an environmental engineering blames the recession on why his profession starting salary has reduced.
He argues, “Prior to starting my college education, I had done a research on the possible starting salaries in various professions and environmental engineering was among the top five professions that pay graduates well”.
He adds, “However, within the four year period the values have gone down and this makes it even more difficult to find a good paying job as a graduate”.
According to Stone, Horn, and Zukin (4), the starting salaries for graduate students reduced by an average $3000 during the recession period of 2009 to 2011.
Helen, a postgraduate student in software engineering, has decided to use a different approach to increase her chances of securing a high paying job.
She says, “After completing my undergraduate studies, I decided to pursue postgraduate studies in software engineering as this would increase my marketability and chances of securing a well-paying job”.
According to Larsen, most college graduates look for well-paying jobs to be able to pay back the student loans they incurred.
Stone, Horn, and Zukin (11) indicate that the number of college graduates who are employed fulltime is just slightly over 50%.
Paul, a recent economics graduate, says, “I do not come from a rich family and since I am the eldest I have to help in raising my younger siblings and save funds for paying my student loan”. This perception of helping one’s family has made it difficult for the young people' to move up in the socio economic calendar (DePARLE 2).
For most graduate students, the salary is paid hourly. Only a few receive annual salaries. Those paid hourly receive less than those graduate students paid on an annual basis (Stone, Horn, and Zukin 4).
The economy of the United States depends heavily on the level of consumption of consumers. The recession has reduced the consumption levels of consumers. Many individuals find it hard to obtain finances to invest.
Consequently, high unemployment rates results because of increasing layoffs. New graduates are finding it hard to obtain jobs. The government needs to establish solutions that will prevent such consequences of an economic crisis.
Having a basic degree cannot guarantee an individual a job. Having a postgraduate degree may become a compulsory certificate to securer employment if the economic situation does not improve. Most of the Americans are in the view that the economic recovery will take some time (Pew Research 3)
DePARLE, Jason. "Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., 22 Dec. 2012. Web. 9 Sept. 2013.
El Nasser, Haya, Paul Overberg, and Dennis Cauchon. "Recession affecting every aspect of American life - USATODAY.com." USA TODAY: Latest World and US News - USATODAY.com. N.p., 29 Sept. 2010. Web. 6 Sept. 2013. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/census/2010-09-28-census-american-community-survey_N.htm>.
Larsen, Rozanne. "Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center”. Home - Journalist's Resource Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center. N.p., 7 June 2012. Web. 6 Sept. 2013. <http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/education/chasing-american-dream-recent-college-graduates-great-recession#>.
Liesman, Steve. "Americans' view of economy hits post-recession high, CNBC survey shows - NBC News.com." Breaking News & Top Stories - World News, US & Local | NBC News. N.p., 26 June 2013. Web. 6 Sept. 2013. <http://www.nbcnews.com/business/americans-view-economy-hits-post-recession-high-cnbc-survey-shows-6C10455618>.
Pew Research Center. Many Say Economic Recovery is Still a Long Way Off. 2013.PDF
Stone, Charley, Carl Van Horn, and Cliff Zukin. Chasing the American Cream: Recent College
Graduates and the Great Recession. 2012. PDF.