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Friday November 15th 2019

Mixed News: U.S. Economy Still Up and Down

In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis, the economy quickly fell into recession as credit markets tightened up considerably due to fears of continued losses. Despite the efforts of government policy makers to revive the gasping economy, things remain in a precarious state. The Treasury Department arranged for a bailout for many of the largest investment banks, most of whom were holding on to billions of worthless assets. Congress agreed to a $800 billion stimulus package in an attempt to boost overall demand throughout the economy. In addition, the Federal Reserve is already engaging in its second round of quantitative easing, buying up large amounts of Treasury bonds to keep short-term interest rates near zero percent. It’s begging to feel a bit like an amusement park ride.

Officially, the American economy has snapped out of the recession. GDP growth in the first quarter was 1.8 percent, a not very strong number but an increasing one nonetheless. Overall, the recovery has been very anemic. Indeed, there are real fears that the economy could slip into a double-dip recession unless appropriate measures are taken. Of course, there have been a few positive signs in the economy over the past year. The stock market did very well in 2010; the S&P 500 returned 15 percent last year. Many businesses appear to be recovering from the 2008 recession, although they seem reluctant to reinvest those profits given the precarious state of the economy. Unemployment has been trending downward over the past few months, but few economists would call such job growth numbers encouraging.

Unfortunately, there seems to be as many negative numbers as positive ones. Hourly wage growth grew at only two percent last year. And this has been part of a much longer trend of stagnant wage growth over the past thirty years, especially for those in the lower-half of the income distribution. It is true that this is at least partially due to increases in health care expenditures made by employers on behalf of employees, but there has been a disconnect between productivity and wages. As long as unemployment remains so high, there will be little upward pressure on wages.

The even more discouraging fact is that unemployment is probably even higher than the official rate reported by the government. Once you account for workers who are underemployed, such as full-time workers only working part-time or workers in jobs well below their skill set, and workers who have dropped out of the job market completely, the unemployment rate is closer to 15 percent.

As wages have stagnated or fallen, many workers are seeing their standard of living fall thanks to rising prices in many consumer staples like gasoline and food. Indeed, gasoline is quickly reaching an average of $4 a gallon, further reducing available disposable income. Overall, food prices are expected to rise four percent this year, although many important foodstuffs will increase in price even more than that.

On top of all of this, the government is currently operating under a $1.6 trillion budget deficit. As the debate in Washington turns from economic stimulus to debt reduction, the government may inadvertently squash a nascent recovery by reducing aggregate demand through broad-based spending cuts. Indeed, some economists have argued that even more spending may be necessary to boost the economy suffering under a large amount of excess capacity.

Unfortunately, the American economy is suffering from a variety of woes and it appears that the government has already exhausted most of its standard policy prescriptions. Interest rates are as low as they are going to get and government spending is not likely to get any higher. In the end, we can likely expect a very slow recovery into the foreseeable future.

Using Credit Cards to Finance Your Startup

Credit cards should never be considered your first choice for raising capital for your startup business. The risks in running your credit balances up are too high for a business that has not yet proven itself stable. That said, there are some situations that could benefit from the short term or carefully structured use of a credit card to cover certain costs. If you plan to use credit for business funding, track your purchases carefully and pay the cards down as soon as possible.

Recognize the Risk Up Front

A personal credit card can seem like a convenient way to cover many of the costs of starting your business. The trouble with using your own card for a brand new business is that you have no guarantee that your business will be able to pay the balance down within a reasonable amount of time. The safest way to gain capital for a startup is through a traditional small business loan through a bank you trust. The interest rates on credit cards can be as much as 10% higher than a standard loan’s interest rates, which means you will pay 10 times as much for your credit card loan over the long run.

Use Balance Transfers to Your Benefit

If you choose to carry a high balance on your credit card after purchasing items such as desks, office chairs, printers, computers, and other operating equipment, watch your balance and interest rates carefully. If you have more than one credit card, you might benefit from transferring the balance from one card to another. Many credit card companies offer special discounted rates for customers who transfer balances. The balance transfer could save you several months of high interest rates on your card’s balance.

Create a Plan for Paying off the Balance

Before you swipe the card for the business purchase, have a plan in place for paying the card off. You should be able to project your expected company earnings for the near future. Figure out how soon you can pay off the card’s balance in full based on your sales projections. Once you make the purchases, pay the minimum required payments on the card until you reach your expected payoff date. Always have a backup plan in case your company does not do as well as you expect it to do within the time frame you have selected.

Credit to Cover Cash Flow

One of the most powerful uses of a credit card for a business is as a stop gap cash flow resource. When you submit an invoice to a client, you never know how long it will actually take the client to pay you back. You can loan your company the amount of the invoice by using your credit card during the time between submitting the invoice and receiving payment. When the payment is received, you can use it to cover the charges you had to make with your card. The credit card can keep your company solvent without depending on the payment time frame of your client. Of course, this method relies on timely payments from your clients.

The bottom line is that using a credit card to finance your startup is a risky endeavor. Use your credit wisely and be careful to maintain full control lest the credit cards begin to inhibit your business growth.

Three Small Business Misconceptions to Avoid

Starting a new business can be an exciting time. You are opening a new phase of your life that depends on your talents and abilities more than any endeavor of your life. Just be sure to understand what you are getting into before you cut all ties to your day job.

Overcoming the Odds

Running a small business takes a lot of work, a solid understanding of management, and a little luck. Research shows that every new small business has only a 50 percent chance of succeeding in the first five years. You will need to spend a lot of time building and nurturing your business before you can expect to begin to overcome those odds and reap rewards. One of the first things to do is eliminate any misconceptions you may have about running a small business.

1. Self Reliance is the Key to Happiness

It can be refreshing to be at the top of the ladder when you own your business. You don’t have a boss to report to, and you get to make all of the decisions on your own. Unfortunately, you still have to make all the decisions on your own. You are responsible for the big choices and the small ones that will keep your business running or run it into the ground. You receive credit for success and the blame for failures. This requires a balanced temperament and thick skin.

2. A Fresh New Idea is All You Need

Most successful small businesses are not brand new ideas. Most of them offer familiar products and services in a new way. The danger of presenting a brand new idea to the market is that customers may not realize a need for that new product. You might be better off with something people can already relate to and understand. It is easier to break into an established market than it is to create a brand new market on your own. You are better off differentiating yourself with your take on an existing product rather than creating an entirely new idea.

3. Setting Your Own Hours Means More Free Time

It’s tempting to look at a small business owner’s hours and be jealous. After all, they can choose when to work and when to stay home. Unfortunately, the line between work and play becomes very fuzzy when you run a business. You may find yourself working at all hours while you struggle to get your business of the ground. In the meantime, relationships will suffer.

It’s important to understand that being a small business owner is a lifestyle choice. You will probably spend twice as many hours working on your self-owned business than you would ever spend working for someone else. Of course, if you’re doing what you love, it rarely feels like work.

What Would Happen if the Government Really Shut Down?

A last minute piece of legislation may extend the budget negotiations in congress and put off the need for shutting down the government. Unfortunately, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are still widely divided on many issues related to the budget. The longer both sides argue over budget line items, the higher the risk of the government shutdown because it will run out of funding for this year. The current extension should buy lawmakers another two weeks to work things out before a shutdown would be necessary.

Key Disagreements over Budget Items

Republicans have presented up to $100 billion dollars in spending cuts for this year’s budget. Their representatives have agreed to lower that number to $61 billion in order to get the budget passed to avoid a government shutdown. The democrats feel that the proposed cuts would be incredibly harmful to the fragile economic recovery that has just begun. In fact, the president has said he would veto a budget that included some of the planned massive cuts. If someone doesn’t come up with a new idea soon, a shutdown may become inevitable.

Previous Government Shutdown Statistics

The United States has gone through government shut downs 15 times in the last 40 years. The longest shut down lasted for 21 days, while the shortest was just three days. During each shutdown, hundreds of thousands of government employees took furloughs until the budget was passed. Since the government doesn’t keep track of independent contractors working for them, there are no statistics to show how many independent contractors were out of work during the shut downs. Government agencies that provide national security and health services remain open during a shut down.

Typical Impact on the General Public

In general, most government services remain closed during a shut down. Regular citizens will notice that health hotlines are not available. The application process for owning a gun or gaining a liquor license through the Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco administration will slow dramatically. Bankruptcy cases going through the system will stall until the new budget is passed. National parks and monuments will closed to the public. Foreigners who are waiting for passport and visa approvals will be put on hold. Military veterans who rely on federal agencies for services will also have their services cut off during the shutdown.

Is it Finally Time to Go LED?

LED lights are known by consumers to be expensive, but a new trend of lower prices is making its way to the market. Home Depot is leading this trend by offering LED lights for under $20 online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

These highly-efficient bulbs have turned off some consumers simply because they are expensive, but the costs to run bulbs goes beyond the upfront costs. The total costs depend on a bulb’s lifespan, efficiency, and other variables. With Home Depot leading the pack with greatly reduced prices for LED bulbs, it may be the best time to switch to LED lights.

Advantages of LED

When it comes to preserving the environment, LED bulbs are the way to go. These lights do not contain mercury, and use fewer watts to produce the same amount of lumens as standard and fluorescent bulbs. They are simply more energy efficient. LED bulbs generate little to no heat, which helps reduce the cost for running the air conditioner. The lifespan of LED lights is incredibly long, spanning for 10 to 15 years with normal use.

Costs are Finally Down

With the cheaper cost of LED lights being offered, it is a great time to invest in them. The new EcoSmart LED bulb offered at Home Depot below $20 has a lifespan of around 50,000 hours. In contrast, a standard bulb cost $1.25 with a lifespan of 1200 hours. A fluorescent bulb cost $3.95 and has a life span of around 10,000 hours.

The amount of kilowatts used over a 50,000-hour period is 300 for an LED bulb, 700 for a fluorescent bulb, and 3,000 for a standard bulb. This means that over a 50,000-hour period, individuals would use one LED bulb, 5 fluorescent bulbs, and 42 standard bulbs. No matter how you look at it, LED is leading the way.

LED versus Fluorescent

At a rate of $0.20 per KWh, it would costs $60 to use an LED bulb, $140 to use a fluorescent bulb, and $600 to use a standard bulb. The total costs for the bulb and the electricity costs is $85.95 for an LED bulb, $159.75 for a fluorescent bulb, and $652.50 for a standard bulb. The savings are even more substantial over a 10-year period, averaging around $860 for an LED bulb, $1,597.50 for a fluorescent bulb, and $6,525 for a standard bulb. If you were to consider the costs of using multiple fluorescent or standard bulbs in your home, the difference in costs would be even more.

New LED Regulations

The government passed new regulation requiring LED bulbs to be 30% more efficient than standard bulbs by 2014, and 70% more efficient by 2020. LED bulbs may seem more expensive than alternate lighting at first glance, but when you consider the overall costs of these bulbs compared to alternative lightening, you will save more money in the end. The advantages of these bulbs far outweigh the disadvantages, and many experts in the field believe LED lights will become the wave of the future.

Dangers of the Growing Financial Gap in America

The efforts of the government to help Americans financially have done little in the way of providing relief. The loss of jobs is still growing at a faster pace than job creation, causing the divide to grow wider between the rich and poor.

How Bad is It?

In 2009, approximately 44 million Americans were living below the poverty line. This equates to a household of four with an annual income of $22,000. This is the highest number recorded in 51 years. 19 million people were living in extreme poverty, which amounts to a family of four with a household annual income of $11,000. These alarming statistics have caused individuals to take notice, and have renewed efforts to fight poverty in America.

Gap or Canyon?

With little signs of the economy improving, the divide between classes is becoming more apparent. There are currently more poor people living in America than there has ever been. Some professors and economists believe that America has become a low-wage nation, and this is the reason for the increasing divide of classes. They describe the economy as being structurally broken. Some argue that individuals have created these economic problems for themselves. That argument is seeing little support as the economy becomes weaker, and more people find themselves struggling financially.

To make matters worse, The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund created under the stimulus package expired on September 30. The fund was used by 37 states to create subsidized jobs for nearly 250,000 low-income, long-term unemployed workers. The expiration of the fund will only add to the currently high unemployment numbers.

It was estimated that nearly 20,000 people would lose these jobs in Illinois alone. California, one of the states hardest hit by the recession, had 10,000 jobs created by the fund. The unemployment rates are expected to rise from 10.4 to 10.7 percent and 12.3 to 12.5 percent, respectively.

The House voted to extend the fund, but it later died in the Senate. Republicans opposed the extension because of concerns about the growing deficit. The bill was dropped in the Senate along with $16 billion in Medicaid assistance to pass an emergency extension of unemployment benefits for 2.5 Americans.

As congressional representatives debate on what measures to put in place to help those who are struggling, individuals are finding themselves in dire straits. Home foreclosures have increased substantially, and more people are finding themselves homeless.

Weak Establishment, Growing Extremist Faction

The alarming socio-economic divide in America is dangerous. Extremist groups like the Tea Party may gain a foothold as dissatisfied Americans look for an outlet to voice their anger. This political group believes in lowering taxes, gun rights and clamping down on immigration.

While each of these arguments may have some merit, when taken to extremes, the results can be disastrous. Until the government takes stronger actions to help struggling Americans, our very way of life is in danger. Will we embrace freedom, or will we embrace control?

How the Recession Has Changed America

No matter where you go and what you do in America, there is a good chance someone is talking about the recession. Nearly everything you hear in the news is centered on the recession. Whatever the topic, it’s skewed to talk about how it has been affected by downturn. Not only has the conversation changed, but Americans are behaving differently as well.

Spending Less

If you were to visit a car dealership, you would probably see a huge inventory of SUVs for sale. People are becoming more conscious of the amount of money they spend. They are also becoming very creative in their methods to save money.

With most of America still feeling the effects of the recession, topped with high gas prices, few people see the value in purchasing a SUV with low gas mileage. Buyers are opting instead for fuel-efficient cars. The recession has subtly curbed the appetite for lavish, expensive luxuries for many of Americans.

Saving More

Since the beginning of the recession, Americans have become thriftier. Savings rates have increased substantially. More individuals are placing their money in savings accounts, hoping to save enough for a possible rainy day.

A large number of people polled by Pew Research admitted to now buying less expensive brands. Over half of the people polled stated that they have canceled vacations. In addition, 33% said that they have cut back on alcohol and tobacco products. Substantial portions (28%) of adults from the ages of 18 to 29 have moved back in with their parents. Individuals are using whatever feasible methods possible to cut back on spending.

Lower Wages

The recession has not only made individuals fearful of losing their jobs, but nearly 35% of Americans earn less than they once did. Many older individuals with decades of work experience have come to the realization that they will never earn the of amount wages they previously earned.

Back to Basics

The recession has created a desire to have a simpler life for many people. There is a change in how people define the American Dream. Fewer people are dreaming of big houses, multiple vehicles, and vacations every year. The recession has curbed the expectations of many people. Families and individuals are becoming more content with living in apartments, riding bicycles, and planning local festivities for their families.

Risk Aversion

Investors who once took on risks in the hopes of earning high returns are becoming more risk averse. Many investors were terrified as they watched their retirement plans and investment portfolios shrink to record lows. The volatility in the stock market has caused investors to put their money in safer investments.

Bond funds and money market accounts are now attracting the majority of new money. The Investment Company Institute reported that poll numbers showed that only 30% of investors were willing to take on substantial risks to earn higher possible returns.

Economists and financial experts say investors will remain risk averse for quite some time. A long-term bull market would need to occur for investors to have enough confidence to invest more money in stocks. The increase in bond investments is also due to Baby Boomers making a transition from stocks to bonds to protect their investment portfolio.

How Long Will it Last?

Some economists believe that the changes in Americans are only temporary. They believe consumers will start spending as that once did when the economy starts improving. Others believe that the recession has permanently changed the mindset of Americans, and spending habits will never return to what they were in the past.

Whether things will continue as is or return to what they once were, it is safe to say that the recession has drastically changed how Americans see the world, their own lives, and their money.

Do IDAs Actually Work?

A potent picture of a tear-stained face can send us delving quickly into our wallets. But making that giving a legal responsibility, and the sympathy of most citizens turns to a defiant glare. Why should our hard-earned end up in the savings accounts of the lowest societal denominators?

This is the controversy concerning Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). The dark horses of welfare, IDAs are special savings accounts for low-income persons and families. While entry requirements vary by state, participants must generally be within 200% of the Federal poverty line, have a steady source of income, and possess less than $5,000-$10,000 in net wealth, excluding home ownership and one car.

Money placed in an IDA is matched at a specified ratio (i.e. 1:1, 2:1, 3:1) either through a private organization or government assistance. Most IDAs have input limits, ranging from $500 to $3,000, and last between six months and three years. Generally, IDAs are for buying a home, returning to education, or starting a business. But IDAs are not just about money.

Participants are taught financial responsibility and literacy. Entrants are stringently screened prior to acceptance, and work one-on-one with business advisors, improving credit scores, developing entrepreneurial skills, and achieving a high level of business acumen. They get top notch business training at no cost, plus free money to put it into practice.

That’s the goal anyway. But does it work? Do IDAs make people richer?

In the short-term, yes. Programs such as San Francisco’s EARN; the Federal government’s AFI, which is the largest federally subsidized IDA program, averaging $25 million per FY, OCS, JOLI, and FSS; and the 21 states with IDA support (2009), have been shown to increase short-term savings. According to (2007), 168 million in government funds has been injected into IDAs thus far, leading to an average of $1,543 in savings per participant.

Participants like Jenny Robinson and Dametria Williams, formerly poor and hapless women, have used IDAs to begin their businesses and give them hope. IDA proponents proudly point to similar stories and claim victory.

But how does the future play out? Not so hopefully it seems. Long-term, IDA holders have trouble saving, maintaining their homes, or rising above their economic position. And sadly, the ones that need help most may not be getting it.

A study by Mills, Gale, Patterson, Engelhardt, Eriksen, Apostolov, and Emil (2008) shows that, although participants showed an increase in home ownership, IDAs had almost no “discernible effect” on other assets, net wealth or poverty rates, and that many participants withdrew matched funds for unqualified purposes. Another study by Grinstein-Weiss, Zhan, and Sherraden (2006), state that the most disadvantaged (i.e. African-Americans, the unmarried, least educated and poorest) show the least long-term asset improvement. And most subduing, the Kansas City TCF IDA program has an estimated 30% successful completion rate (2006). As a result, millions of taxpayer’s dollars are frittered away on good intentions.

Still, a few successes may be better than none. Social trends may start small and grow to include many. The success of one leads to the hope of another and so on. While it’s true that taxpayer funds are sometimes lost on these programs, the cash contributions come from banks. Taxpayers foot the bill for the financial counseling portion of IDAs.

These plans do appear to help those who are willing to put in the hard work achieve goals that would otherwise be unattainable, even unimaginable. It’s those individuals who simply cannot believe that they might ever be successful who fail to use these programs to full advantage. And for those who have never seen anyone they know succeed, it’s hard to believe they might ever achieve anything greater than what they see around them.

Mortgage Rates at All Time Low…Expected to Continue

The mortgage market has been going through a deflationary cycle recently. Since the housing bubble first started to burst in 2007, interest rates on mortgage loans have been falling like rocks.  Mortgage rates have hit fifty-year lows. Demand, however, remains very weak.

There are various questions about this phenomenon running through the financial and business sectors. There is much confusion about how demand could be so low with such attractive rates. According to the standard supply-side formula, low interest rates should spur borrowing and investment. What’s really happening is that the savings rate has risen higher in the past eight years. In fact, in the second quarter of 2009, the personal savings rate hit five percent.

Low mortgage rates plus an increased sense of frugality combined with tighter lending standards results in homeowners who either cannot refinance or buy a home, or they are afraid to take the risk on buying a new home and prefer to live frugally within their current dwellings. The tighter lending standards mean that even borrowers who would have previously qualified for refinancing may not be able to do so. Many borrowers have found their financial situation worse off, due to factors such as a reduced credit rating, lowered income, and other negative factors that make it more difficult for homeowners to refinance because they cannot meet the stricter standards.

It is not surprising that the credit crunch brought down mortgage rates. The fact that the Federal Reserve was purchasing mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac helped to keep rates down. During the height of the financial crisis, the money market was suddenly gutted as depositors withdrew their funds. Since banks essentially create credit by lending out large loans such as mortgages, the expansion of credit was abruptly halted and in fact drastically reversed within a short period.

The sudden contraction of credit resulted in interest rates nose-diving because there was a sudden decrease in the amount of mortgage debt owed as the rate of defaults rose. The defaults were largely the result of falling home prices and high levels of consumer debt. Mortgage defaults decreased the overall debt load because the massive waves of foreclosures effectively wiped out hundreds of mortgage loans. This made the credit contraction even worse, and the rapidly shrinking money supply spurred the Federal Reserve’s lowering interest rates in order to keep the money supply from shrinking even further.

Unfortunately, the money supply continues to shrink due to deflationary trends despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts. The newly risk-averse banks simply do not lend out the money generated by the Reserve. Nationally, especially in the hard-hit areas of California and Florida, mortgage defaults continue to increase. Although the money market has appeared to recover, the contraction of credit continues to shrink the overall availability of currency.

This has resulted in low mortgage rates because of incredible deflationary pressures, not necessarily because of decreased risk. Even once the Federal Reserve stopped buying mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, interest rates continued to fall. The deflationary trends have resulted in positive effects, however; the increased savings rate combined with the tighter standards have resulted in more consumers paying off their debts, with the salutary result that overall consumer debt levels in the United States have started decreasing.

In addition, there is a talk of a second wave of recession on the horizon. Whether the predictions are true or not, the negative sentiment makes already nervous lenders even tighter with their money. Why lend money at a risk when they can invest in government bonds and have a guaranteed profit?

All of the above notwithstanding, the low mortgage rates are continuing to stay low due to the continued credit contraction. Once the contraction bottoms out, mortgage rates should level off. They expected to remain low because of continued deflationary trends as the accumulated citizen and government debt is slowly paid off.

Top Jobs: Demand Rising in These Vocations

While jobs are looking scarce right now, certain sectors of the economy are expected to grow in the next few years. Add to that the dwindling population and you will be looking at a shortage of workers in the coming decade. It may be hard to believe that the jobs, so hard to find today, will be abundant so soon. But that’s just what is being forecast by Barry Bluestone and Mark Melnik, authors of a research report conducted for the Boston Redevelopment Authority titled, “After the Recovery: Help Needed.”

This report was co-funded by Civic Ventures, an organization focusing on issues that affect baby boomers, work, and social purpose. The report predicts an astounding 5 million job vacancies in the U.S. in the next eight years. Where will these jobs be? Most of them will be in sectors like healthcare, education, government, NGOs and the service industry. Here is a list of job titles that will be in great demand:

Business Operations Specialist

This job title may describe several roles, but mainly refers to a middle management position as a technology analyst in the telecommunications field. The specialist will analyze data and then find ways to make operations more efficient through technology. He or she may also oversee implementation of recommendations, requiring interpersonal and project management skills. Salary: About $45,000

Child-care Workers

Caregivers are needed at both public and private daycare settings. Workers must see to the safety and well-being of children, both emotional and physical. Most will care for children between the ages of 6 weeks to 6 years. Salary: About $24,000


Pastors and ministered are needed to see to the spiritual and emotional needs of individuals and families. They may conduct worship services, offer spiritual and moral guidance and counseling for clergy members. Salary: About $50,000

General and Operations Managers

The managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day aspects of a business. They must manage employees to ensure the business meets objectives determined by upper management. Hours are often long, but the pay is good. Salary: About $95,000

Home Health Aides, Personal and Home Care Aides

These workers often assist elderly, handicapped and otherwise disabled individuals live independently by visiting in the home, helping with jobs the client cannot manage. Home health aides ensure maximum independence for the patient by performing the specific tasks the disabled individual cannot accomplish. These may include personal care, meal preparation and light errands. Salary: About $27,000

Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses

These caregivers treat ill, injured, or disabled individuals in many health care settings and institutions. A license is required to do the job and these nurses often work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. Salary: $40,000 to $45,000

Nursing Aides, Orderlies and Attendants

These hospital workers will be in the greatest demand. They offer basic patient care as directed by nursing staff. They may feed, groom or move patients and change linens. Salary: $25,000 to $34,000

Medical Assistants

Often performing secretarial duties, medical assistants keep the doctor’s office running by scheduling appointments, managing medical records and other administrative tasks. Salary: About $36,000

Medical and Health Service Managers

These managers coordinate and oversee a healthcare business. They may be specialists in a particular department, or in charge of entire facilities. A bachelor’s degree is acceptable at entry level, but a master’s degree is commonly required. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers make between $71,000 to $87,000.

Registered Nurses

Nurses will continue to be in high demand in the coming years. Nurses assist in patient care while educating patients and families about medical conditions and offering emotional support. Salary: About $61,000

Teachers, teacher’s assistants, and receptionists will also be in high demand. Those out of work today may wish to concentrate on the training needed to fulfill the job needs in one of these fields.