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Economists Wanted

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On January 28, 2004 @ 12:30 pm In Finance | Comments Disabled

In celebration (if thats the right word) of today’s Fed [1] announcement (2:15pm EST), I thought I would share this puff piece found in this Sunday’s Newsday.

Answering a Need for Analysis
“When there is a question about the condition of the U.S. economy or where it is headed, the occupation most often quoted in the media is the economist. But what do economists actually do, and is it a good career choice?

Economists are found in all facets of government and business. That is because they not only study the macro conditions that make our economy work and make predictions, they also study the micro elements of business and make projections. The Department of Labor estimates that the number of economists in the United States is approaching 150,000. In the next 10 years, employment is projected to grow between 21 and 35 percent.

You’ll be in good company: Among the nation’s most prominent economists are Steve Friedman [2], chief economic adviser to President George W. Bush; Robert Reich [3], who played a similar role in the Clinton administration, and Alan Greenspan [4], chairman of the Federal Reserve.

So what would you actually do? Government officials and corporate boards often depend on the information provided by economists in their decision making. The nation’s monetary policy is formulated by the information given by some of the best economic minds in the country. Without accurate data, the conclusions that go with it and the actions taken, the nation’s economy as well as the world’s economy would collapse.

Federal, state and local governments rely on their work. They may be involved in education, labor, international trade, transportation or even the lottery. However, most are directly concerned with the practical applications. Banks, insurance companies, security firms, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, transportation companies and virtually every type of business hire economists.

So, yes, the job is crucial and influential. But you have to like numbers and analysis, and you have to be able to put up with being wrong a lot. Economics is sometimes more of an art, and even some of its biggest fans refer to it as “the dismal science [5].”

Sources:
Answering a Need for Analysis [6]
SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
Newsday, January 25, 2004

http://www.newsday.com/business/local/newyork/ny-econ3640970jan25,0,5597187.story

Federal Reserve News and Events [1]

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents.htm


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2004/01/economists-wanted/

URLs in this post:

[1] Fed: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents.htm

[2] Steve Friedman: http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/friedman-bio.html

[3] Robert Reich: http://www.robertreich.org/reich/biography.asp

[4] Alan Greenspan: http://www.federalreserve.gov/bios/greenspan.htm

[5] the dismal science: http://www.economy.com/dismal/

[6] Answering a Need for Analysis: http://www.newsday.com/business/local/newyork/ny-econ3640970jan25,0,5597187.story

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