The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Economy hits students hard

By Brian Trick

In 2007, Utah had the fastest growing economy in the country at 5.3 percent growth, according to a June news release by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Utah is now one of 31 states facing midyear budget deficits.

Overall, 41 states are facing deficits. Including Utah, 29 states are facing deficits of more than $48 billion combined. Utah’s midyear shortage is roughly 5.9 percent of the 2009 fiscal year budget, or $354 million, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Couple this with a combined 2.7 million jobs lost since the recession started more than a year ago8212;533,000 of which came in November of this year alone according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dec. 5 numbers. There was a total loss of 403,000 jobs in September, and 320,000 in October.

Utah looked so promising, but when so much growth is based in the housing boom, it’s going to hurt when it bursts. National unemployment now hovers at 6.7 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Utah’s unemployment rate for 2007 was the second lowest at 2.7 percent. Utah now hovers at 3.5 percent.

As a full-time student, I have felt the financial impact. I’m poor as hell, the poorest I’ve ever been. Writing for The Daily Utah Chronicle earns me roughly $200 a month before taxes. I did the math, that equates to about $2.50 an hour. Now, I love my job, and the school newspaper business has never been a path to millions, but with this as my main income, my bank account is always in the red. I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’ve found that it’s become the main topic of conversation for my friends and me. It’s a new phenomenon for a large number of young people to worry so much about financial issues, when at this age, they have less responsibility than their parents. We all learned about the depression of the 1930s but couldn’t imagine what it really felt like. Some of us have heard the stories from our grandparents, and some of us said, “That’s great, grandpa. I’ve always wanted to know the price of milk in 1935 or how much a movie cost when Lillian Gish dominated the screen.”

The truth is, we are the first generation to make less than our parents8212;this is one of the worst times to enter the job market.

My solution is to stay in school as long as possible, and get a higher paying job than an opinion writer. Although, with the state making drastic cuts to the U’s budget, maybe that won’t work either. I’m going to donate plasma for money. Hard times call for drastic action.

[email protected]

Brian Trick

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