Joshua Caldwell Journal Contributor
I hope this reaches you. If you’re reading this, then you must be one of the few survivors. I commend you on your fortitude and your ability to persevere in this post-apocalyptic America that the re-election of President Barack Obama… Wait, everyone is alive, you say? The world didn’t come to an end as was predicted by certain political pundits. I guess they were wrong; maybe all the name-calling and finger pointing can stop. No, wrong again, you say?
A lot of this political back-and-forth bullying seems to always include certain people portraying us as victims to a stagnant economy. What I didn’t understand was the growing momentum behind this argument up until the election. After the election, it started all over again – this time in the form of the fiscal cliff. A makeshift deal was made to avoid that self-inflicted wound, yet another disaster loomed ahead: the debt ceiling. Throughout all of these tribulations, people still kept getting back to the stagnant economy and its slow recovery.
It seems to me that something which took eight years to break should at least get the same amount of time to fix, yet I would propose that the economy is not as porous as some would have you believe. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment hit its highest point – around 10 percent – in October of 2009; one year after the market went into recession. As of last month, the unemployment rate was hovering around 7.8 percent. This, for those keeping score, is a 2.2 percent decrease in unemployment claims.
One of the largest indicators of economic health is new business start-ups, which account for over 20 percent of gross job creation. From 2006 to 2010, the United States saw a drop in business start-ups. In a recent survey published by Bloomberg Business Week, and executed by Babson, an absolutely astounding rise in new business start-ups was shown, marking a 60 percent increase in new business development from 2010. I would very much recommend taking a look because it provides you with an in depth look at where the economy is heading.
2013 is off to an astounding start now that the bridge to get across the fiscal cliff was found, the debt ceiling has been extended, and people are starting to trust the market again. The housing market is also on a steady road to recovery as we see the fastest year over year growth since 2006. Job creation is up as of January 4, 2013 and total non-farm payroll employment increased by 155,000 (these numbers were produced from the BLS as well.) The Dow Jones and S&P 500 are close to reaching all-time highs as the markets closed on Tuesday in reaction to the better-than-expected housing numbers – providing investors with the tools to re-discover the confidence that has been missing.
So for all you out there fretting about the economy, I am here to tell you it is time to come out of hiding. The United States economy is strong and bouncing back. Send a message to the others: we have survived!