FROM THE EDITOR:Time confirms slow economy

March 31, 2010

by Lance Traweek

Saying that the United States has been in an economic recession since December 2007 is no April Fools’ joke.
In fact, the United States has lost 8.4 million more jobs than it has won. Oh, the United States: What a loser.

With the unemployment rate at 10 percent, 100 percent of Americans are asking one question: What the hell happened?

Quick! Let’s point fingers.

So, while politicians fight over who started the economic fire, recently fired Americans watch their jobs burn to the ground.
In a recent article, Time magazine breaks down the number of unemployed people per job opening by industry competing for a job.

The list includes Education and Health: 2.3, Government: 2.3, Professional and Business Services: 3.5, Information: 3.8, Financial: 4.0, Wholesale and Retail Trade: 6.4, Leisure and Hospitality: 7.2, Manufacturing of Nondurable Goods: 7.5, Transportation and Utilities: 11.3, Oil and Gas Extraction and Mining: 14.2, Manufacturing of Durable Goods: 16.0 and Construction: 34.8.

Whew, if you made it through that last paragraph awake, perhaps you’re wondering how two-tenths of a person could possibly beat you out of a job.

But seriously, as students our goal is to graduate and start our career.
Adding to that uphill battle, a lot of us will not only graduate with a diploma in hand but a pocket full of debt.

It’s unfair that our generation played no part in screwing up the economy, but in the end, of course we’re getting screwed over the most.

In the Time article, Barbara Kiviat says attempts by Washington to stimulate the job market have been a short-term fix at best, and as said by Matthew Slaughter, an economist at Dartmouth, “we need to think long term.”

And Kiviat says the key to job growth is not by creating jobs “but ideas and technologies and more efficient ways of producing and selling goods and services,” adding that as we think about the topic of job creation, we need to recognize that sustainable jobs will be built on our unique abilities as individual human beings to problem solving and be creative.

As chaotic and stressful as college may be, most of us live for the fun of the weekend and only think as far into the future as the next purge date, but think about the people in your major classes. You might be all buddy buddy with them now, but the tables may turn with your tassels when the person sitting behind you gets a job over you.

So, use your uniqueness to your advantage. Make yourself marketable, and sell yourself to potential employers now.
As a journalist, I’ll graduate and enter a career field that ran out of ink years ago. Even if I die trying to get paid to write, at least I’ll make the Obituary section.

Lance Traweek is a junior journalism and political science major from Monroe who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to jlt044@latech.edu.