Despite recession, professors say not to worry; Students may have to settle for lesser jobs


Despite a recession being officially declared, some NIU professors of business and economics say it is not a cause for great alarm.

“This is not an unprecedented economic situation,” said Finance Department Chair Marc Simpson. “This is just one phase of a cycle that gets carried out all the time.”

On Dec. 1, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007.

The basic definition of a recession accepted by most economists is when there is a six-month period of decline in a country’s gross domestic product, or how much the country produces in goods and services.

The reason why it has taken so long for an official declaration of recession to be made is because of the time that is required to accumulate and analyze that data needed to make the diagnosis.

“Nobody knows what the country’s output is today or this month, so we’ll only know once we’ve counted it all up, and that takes time,” Simpson said. “Economic information is always reported at a lag, so you’re pretty much finding out where you just were, not where you are currently.”

Since most Americans have been living in this state of recession for the past year, many have grown accustomed to it and are already tightening their budgets. But having an official declaration could promote more prudent spending.

“The fact that [it] is now official it could further affect consumer confidence that could lead to a decline in spending,” said Carl Campbell, assistant chair and assistant professor of economics.

Those affected most by the recession are those who have lost their jobs, lost their houses, and those within the auto industry, Campbell said.

NIU students are not too bothered by it.

“[College students] are more concerned with things like the prices of gas and food so until those get hit by the economy I don’t think the recession will affect college students and their spending too much,” said sophomore psychology major Nick Sienza.

“I think the recession will make Christmas time harder for people to buy presents. They’ll have to look harder for what they want to spend on people,” said freshman English major Amy Guiney.

One big concern for outgoing students of NIU, however, is finding a job in the current market after graduation. On this topic, Campbell imparted his own advice to the students.

“I think they should be flexible in their expectations that they may not be able to find a quality job that someone who graduated a year or two ago could have,” Campbell said. “Be prepared to take a job you would’ve rejected a year or two ago.”