The U.S. economy is swinging in the right direction and should
be recovering from the recession that began in 2001, said Martin
Regalia, the chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Regalia spoke to students and faculty members Wednesday night
and again to community leaders and businesspeople Thursday
From the Lory Student Center, Regalia discussed different
aspects of the U.S. economy he believes demonstrate an economic
turnaround is happening.
Regalia said companies in the late ’90s, at the end of an
economic upswing, spent more on unnecessary expenses and this can
help explain the trends that can be seen in the recovery.
“In a recovery period what you see is cooperate growth will
begin to turn around first, which will be followed by the private
sector,” Regalia said.
The unemployment rate is now at 6 percent in the United States,
he said. For a lot of people, jobs are a big factor in determining
the strength of an economic turnaround and Regalia said the
unemployment rate would go down in time.
“The unemployment rate is at 6 percent and that will go south,
but it will happen slowly because (the) industry sector has to grow
first (before the jobs will come back),” Regalia said.
Another factor involved in the unemployment rate is the
difference between a person who is unemployed and actively seeking
a job and someone who has just given up on the process. The person
who has given up on the process is considered a discouraged
Regalia said this factor might allow for the unemployment rate
to shift around more and seem as if there is a slower recovery of
jobs. This is because once the discouraged workers return to the
job hunt they become part of the unemployment rate again.
“The unemployment rates now, after the bubble, are better now
than in (1982) or in the (1991) periods,” Regalia said in reference
to similar economic recoveries in recent history.
Many prominent community members attended the Thursday morning
presentation, including former CSU President Albert C. Yates, Fort
Collins Mayor Ray Martinez and some Fort Collins City Council
Business leaders from many different areas of Northern Colorado
were also in attendance.