Dec 042003
 
Authors: Jason Kosena

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

morning.

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

worker.

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

members.

Business leaders from many different areas of Northern Colorado

were also in attendance.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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