Although our nation’s economy has been in recession over the last four years, recent signs look positive.
The Dow Jones stock index broke records in early March. The unemployment rate is down to 7.7 percent, which is the lowest it’s been since December 2008, and February car sales are 7 percent higher than February 2012. Could this be a sign that the U.S. economy is finally going to crawl out of the recession?
We caught up with Clovis residents and asked them what they thought about the economy:
Occupation: Service technician for Coca-Cola
Velasquez said high grocery prices, and high gas prices have had an adverse effect on him and his family. His reaction was positive when he learned about the low unemployment rates.
“I’m very hopeful and very excited at the same time. It’s good to see that our country is coming back.”
Occupation: Unemployed (searching for work in electronics and instrumentals)
Ransom has been out of work for a year, living on unemployment benefits.
“I think Congress has got it all screwed up. It seems to me that they’re not taking the people into consideration. I think Obama is trying to do a good job with the economy, but with the sequestration all that will cease. We’re going to feel it here in Clovis.”
Occupation: E-cigarette vendor at Knockout Vapor
Goings lived in Germany from 2009 to 2012. He said he hasn’t really felt the recession. Now that he’s back in the states he works hard and saves his money.
“Even if the Dow Jones is at an all time high that doesn’t mean the economy is necessarily doing better, because banks are reinvesting that money, and it isn’t necessarily going to trickle down to everyday people.”
Lancaster says she doesn’t see many effects of the recession since all her friends are retired and not working.
“It (the economy) doesn’t affect us because my husband is a retired railroader, so we’re doing fine.”
Mittelmark worked in law enforcement until last spring when she was forced to quit for health reasons. Her husband is in the Air Force.
“We’re doing fine because we’re in the military. I see a lot of people who aren’t though. If my husband wasn’t in the military, I’d have a hard time finding work and supporting myself.”
Occupation: LPN (nurse)/student
Sanchez earned a bachelor’s in exercise science but could not get a job with her degree. She moved to Clovis and became an LPN, and finding a job has been much easier for her.
“It (the economy) stinks because it’s hard to find jobs. My nephew moved back to Clovis and it was hard for him to find work. I push young people to get into a trade like nursing where a job is guaranteed.”
Occupation: H&R Block tax services
Shah is optimistic about the economy. She was aware of the recent success the Dow Jones has had.
“My husband works at Southwest Cheese, and I work at H&R Block, so job-wise we’re OK. I do worry about the housing market.”
Occupation: Pharmacy student
Bunce graduates in three years from pharmacy school. She said she’s confident she will be able to find work after graduation.
“A few years ago pharmacy students were graduating but didn’t have jobs, but now they do have jobs. Things are getting better. I’m not too worried.”