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Economist: Wait recession out, worst is over

Local economist Mark Vitner said April 29 that the worst of the recession is over and predicts it to only get better, as apart of the Coggin College of Business’ Alumni Speaker Series at the University Center.

Vitner, Wachovia director and senior economist, gave a presentation titled “This is Not the End of America” at the center to inform current students and recent college graduates about the recession and its affects on the job market.

Vitner began his speech with an optimistic sentiment for the future economy. 

“Deep recessions like this one are transformational events,” he said. “The economy that comes out of it can be stronger than the economy going in.”

However, the nominal gross domestical product has recently dropped the largest amount since the late 1950s, Vitner said. Due to the drop in nominal GDP there are the most job cut-backs in any recession since that time. 

“We believe the worst of the recession is over,” he said, “but I don’t think employment will come roaring back anytime soon.” 

A study by The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that the 4.3 percent unemployment rate has doubled since 2008. However, Vitner encouraged his audience to keep searching for an employer.

“You’re better off fighting for a job through the recession because it’s not the last [recession] you’re going to see,” Vitner said. “Look for a job on a full-time basis and attend graduate school on a part-time basis.” 

Among the many alumni in the audience, some agreed that experience in the workforce should be the main priority of undergraduates.

“It is wise to get business experience while going to school and the easiest way to do that is by getting an internship and going from there,” said Jessica Howard, who recently obtained her master’s degree in accountancy from UNF, and serves as the account supervisor at Total Military Management.

The recession is broad based and affects many fields in the job market. New entrance from college graduates into the workforce will be extremely competitive at this point in time, Vitner said. 

“Companies are looking to produce more goods and provide more services by increasing productivity from the already established personnel,” he said. 

Vitner closed his presentation by answering questions and explaining who is responsible, on the national level, for our country’s recession.

“Ted Turner said, ‘If you’re looking for someone to blame, just look in the mirror,’” he said.

Vitner received a master’s degree in economics from UNF. He is a member of the USA Today forecasting panel, the American Economic Association, the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, and the National Association of Business Economics, among others.

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