Oct 052010
 
Authors: Hannah Cornish

For the past few years America has faced one of its most detrimental recessions, and everyone wants to know whether or not it’s over yet.

According to Michael Marturana, a research economist for CSU, the city of Fort Collins has lost 4,000 jobs to the recession.

An overall deficit, however, is harder to estimate because Fort Collins does not publish monthly sales tax revenues, Marturana said.

Though national economists have recently said the American recession was over a year ago, those closer to home think differently about Fort Collins’ economy.

Martin Shields, economics professor, and Josh Birks, economic advisor for the city of Fort Collins, both believe that the local economy is improving but not necessarily recession-free.

“It doesn’t really feel like we are out of the recession,” Shields said, “but recovery is underway.”
Birks agrees that the local economy is improving. He said some key indicators are an increase this year in jobs and sales and uses taxes, which is the biggest factor in an improving economy.

But how is this economy affecting college students?

“The job search gets that much harder when you graduate,” Shields said.

Most graduates expect they will get a job right out of college. But with unemployment at historic levels, the likelihood of 22-year-olds getting jobs over someone who has a family to support is slim.

“For every job position that is open, there are five workers wanting that position,” Shields said. Internships, he said, have become essential, as students are expected to have some experience in their field to be competitive.

Elissa Braunstein, an associate professor in the Department of Economics, agrees that students face issues in the job market. She said “unemployment is the highest for youths” primarily due to lack of experience and competing with other applicants that have families to feed and mortgages to pay.

Braunstein also said that students’ parents, too, face job losses and are less able to support their children through college.

While Shields predicts the local recession to last another two to three years, he said improvement is apparent.

Staff writer Hannah Cornish can be reached at news@collegian.com.

The recession and college students

Local economists predict that the local recession will last two to three more years.

The job market is especially tough for the college-aged demographic. Advice from the experts? Get as much firsthand experience in the field as you can and as many internships as you can.

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