A look at the nation's economy post recession

The United States job market has gone through substantial changes during the past five years since the economy has begun to recover from the recession. The middle class, once one of America’s greatest gains, has diminished. More and more working Americans are living in poverty. Health care, technology, and energy sectors have helped lead the recovery while the housing industry has decreased dramatically.

The number of jobs has finally recovered to it’s previous amount in January 2008. Since early 2010, there has been a gain of over 8.5 million jobs. The working population has also grown in the last six years. Economists believe the rising wages and improving business market will continue to help foster growth back into the labor market.

The recession especially hurt industries with middle-wage male workers and the industry has yet to see a full recovery. The manufacturing sector has done slightly better than the construction industry. The manufacturing sector has reintroduced several thousand jobs with average salaries of $51,480. The health care sector continues to thrive post recession. It is now the leading employer at all levels and is becoming the backbone of the new middle class.

In past recessions, factories and manufacturing jobs always had the worst downturn. This past recession has left both job industries in worse condition, leaving only 12 million people working in manufacturing jobs. Businesses in the United States that produce their products in factories have fewer factories and fewer workers. The loss of these factory jobs is one of the main reasons for the destruction of middle-wage jobs. Although it has been a rough path, the American industry will continue on the path of greater production of valuable goods. Manufacturing has begun to recapture some momentum with companies returning production from overseas and overall lower energy prices. 

In the housing industry, many states are surpassing their old peaks and are experiencing double digit price increases. Prices continue to rebounds, developers are breaking ground for new projects and foreclosures have decreased significantly. Households are forming once again! 

Energy production continues to go through an extraordinary expansion. The middle of the United States is the prime beneficiary of the energy boom. While oil and natural gas output has increased, alternative energy sources like wind and solar power have gained popularity. The oil and gas industry alone has tripled employment from 60,000 to 210,000. Along with the increased employment, the cost of energy has significantly lowered helping the chemical and plastic industries. 

Unlike most of the industries in the U.S., the technology sector emerged from the recession unscathed. Technology companies like Apple, Twitter, and Facebook along with many others managed to power through the recession and created tremendous wealth for many individuals while adding well-paying jobs to the economy. The high tech companies are not showing any signs of slowing down. They have been capitalizing on social media, cloud computing, big data and luring college graduates away from Wall Street jobs. 

 

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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