US and Global Economies in the New Year

Momentum propels the U.S. economy forward into 2014!  National and international factors suggest chances are ripening to make money in the U.S. and Europe.  While some European job seekers are moving to far sides of the globe for employment, job seekers in the U.S. are enjoying an increase in options.  Certain changes in U.S. laws may cause reorganization issues, yet other changes may provide greater opportunities.

 Global unemployment remains a problem, but there is relief.  Australia is hiring and often workers are amenable to traveling and relocating long distances to get work.  Many of those not willing to travel are going back to school.  National Public Radio reported a 30-year-old Irish worker who had lost a business in the recession as saying, “To get any sort of a job now, you need a degree.  So I decided to return to education and hopefully sharpen my skills.”  U.S. job seekers who returned to education at the beginning of the recession are now entering the work force with honed skills.

 Currently U.S. unemployment statistics are improving and more people working will mean paychecks more freely flowing.  U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports unemployment fell .03 in November 2013 to 7.0 percent, and that 203,000 more people are receiving a pay check.  This timing fits nicely as the U.S. imports less and less oil, and becomes more and more oil independent. That U.S. consumers’ oil money will stay in the U.S. equates to more paycheck dollars circulating throughout the nation. 

 On Oct. 10, 2013, Bloomberg reported the U.S. is producing more oil than it has in 25 years, and that the International Energy Agency predicted that by 2020 the largest oil producer is likely to be the U.S.

 The U.S. housing market has been strong in 2013 with a 9.4 percent national median existing-home price increase annually from November 2012.  National Association of Realtors reported that, nationwide, the median time a home was on the market in November 2012 was 70 days, and in November 2013 only 56 days.  But, going into 2014 money diverted to healthcare insurance premiums may discourage some prospective homebuyers.  Other reorganizations potentially caused by the Affordable Care Act are if big employers in anticipation of 2015 start cutting hours to make many employees part-time. 

 Another consideration is that because the U.S. economy is improving the U.S. Federal stimulus spending will start decreasing.  CNBC reported that Richmond Federal President Jeffrey Lacker said the target federal fund rate could hit 2 percent by early 2015.  The new budget deal for 2014 calls for changes and reductions in U.S. Federal spending, and USA Today reported these changes may boost growth as much as 0.25 percent.

 As global stock markets climb fairly steadily, investors all over are feeling as if the economy is on an upward swing.  CNBC reported that Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank, said the global economy is returning to growth.  Going into 2014 many stock markets in the UK, France and Germany are strong, and some U.S. markets are hitting record highs.

 After years of wallowing in recession, 2014 looks promising on many economic fronts including increases in employed persons, U.S. oil independency and heightened production, active housing markets, reductions in U.S. federal spending, and globally strong stock markets.  These momentums help propel the global economy into a prosperous future.

 Joan Brown ~ contributor