December 27, 2010
Invigorated by the temporary boost in spending from the holiday season, the economy is showing signs that it will rebound in 2011, according to economists' projections.
According to the Chicago Tribune, with consumers spending more than anticipated on holiday shopping this year, corporate executives are suggesting that the economy is predicted to grow entering the New Year.
After spiraling into the worst recession since the Depression, economists say the U.S. gross domestic product will finally return to the $13.36 trillion level it fell from in 2007. Economists expect that it will exceed that benchmark within the next year.
"It's taken us a very long time to get back to even," said Northern Trust economist Paul Kasriel. "It's the weakest recovery since the recovery that began in April 1933."
Kasriel added that in 2011, "people will worry less about losing their jobs, and if you have been out of work, you will start seeing better job opportunities."
As the economy slowly recovers, many employers are also stepping up recruiting efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to data compiled by Indeed Inc., which runs one of the largest employment websites, many of the new jobs being created are in retailing, accounting, consulting, health care, telecommunications and defense-related industries. Figures have shown that the number of U.S. job postings on the Internet rose to 4.7 million on December 1, up from 2.7 million a year prior.
Similarly, government data indicates a rising trend in job prospects. At the end of October, there were 3.2 million private-sector employment openings, up from 2.3 million the year before but well below the 3.7 million in October 2007 before the recession, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
Furthermore, more Americans are feeling financially secure than a year ago, according to FOX Business. Forty-two percent of Americans feel less financially secure now than they did a year ago, a slight improvement from a poll taken a year ago that revealed that more than half felt financially unstable. Yet, only 29 percent of Americans surveyed said they believed the economy will improve in 2011, dropping from the 34 percent mark last month.
Some analysts, however, question whether the economy is actually on the road to recovery, believing that the federal government's recent enactment of sweeping tax cuts and unemployment benefits has merely put extra money into people's pockets, the Chicago Tribune noted.
Compiled by Alexander Gong
"Americans Feeling More Financially Secure," foxbusiness.com, December 27, 2010, Jennifer Booton
"Economic rebound forecast for 2011," chicagotribune.com, December 22, 2010, Gail MarksJarvis
"Job Offers Rising as Economy Warms Up," online.wsj.com, December 24, 2010, James R. Hagerty and Joe Light