According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual unemployment rate across the country has more than doubled since 2006. While the national unemployment rate for the month of April was 9.9, the unemployment rate for New York wasn’t too far behind at 8.4. This is troubling, not only for the entire workforce, but for recent graduates as well. It seems that the end of the recession is never going to come and that all is lost. I beg to differ.
For the past two years of my life, while many have been running around in a frenzy, spreading the word that “there are no jobs because we are in a recession,” I have been denying what everyone seems to be saying. I’ve never really been too keen on statistics, as I learned how they could be altered, while completing my studies in undergrad. I often saw students change both words and numbers around, molding their PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets to fit certain ideas, even if the real numbers or real data didn’t match up to these concepts; sort of the way some journalists do with their “objective” stories. I’d rather base my opinions on what I see. And based on what I’ve been seeing, we are in no way, shape or form, experiencing a recession. I can prove it.
Exhibit A: I want you to pick a Saturday when you have nothing but free time or even a few hours, preferably mid-afternoon to three o’ clock PM. Take the train to 34th Street in Manhattan and walk along this street, from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue in either direction. Take notes, look around, and take pictures if you want. What do you notice? Is it desolate? If not, approximately how many people are walking the streets? Do they have bags in their hands? Are they going into stores? Do the stores seem crowded? If your answer to the last three questions are yes, then you have successfully proven my point thus far. Recession’s, don’t usually include the joys of shopping.
Exhibit B: Let us move on to entertainment. I have been to the movies about three or four times this year. Now that may not be a lot to some, but each time I went, I always felt that I was on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. By the way, I’d visited three different theaters and the environment was always the same, from Chelsea to Midtown to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, the crowds were always there; even on weekdays! I went out with a variety of friends for three weeks in a row to several restaurants around events around the city, and they were packed as well. Hmph, some recession!
Exhibit C: Now according to some, there are no jobs. Really?!? Then how come when I visit web sites such as craigslist.org or monster.com or the career web sites for the colleges I’ve attended, I see thousands upon thousands of jobs, internships, and careers? These are added on a regular basis and come from all industries as well as all career levels. But how can that be if we’re in a recession?
By now I hoped you’ve figured out the answer; just reread the title if you haven’t. So, keep looking for jobs, continue to shop, eat, and live. That’s what I’m doing because I live life by looking at what’s directly in front of me. Plus I’ve never really liked the news. It’s so depressing!
What will you do? Will you believe what the statistics say or will you believe what’s directly in front of your face?