The USA Economy

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. Job search in the USA however requires more than just the obvious the USA resume writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation. You will face problems that probably did not even come to your mind when you made a decision about getting jobs in the USA.

Do not take too lightly the influence a work in the USA can have on the effect of your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, unfamiliar job candidate selection criteria and out of the ordinary management culture.

art_warning USA EconomyMost visits to the USA are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. The USA authorities have carried out a number of arrests as a result of investigations into terrorist networks.

The USA economy - overview: The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $48,000. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products.

At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits.

Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. Since 1996, dividends and capital gains have grown faster than wages or any other category of after-tax income.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required major shifts in national resources from civilian to military purposes and contributed to the growth of the US budget deficit and public debt. Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage in the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, but had a small impact on overall GDP growth for the year. Imported oil accounts for about two-thirds of US consumption.

Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups.

The global economic downturn, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, investment bank failures, falling home prices, and tight credit pushed the US into a recession by mid-2008. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and other industrial corporations. In 2009, the US government provided an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover.

In March 2010, the President signed a health insurance reform bill into law that will extend coverage to an additional 32 million American citizens by 2016, through private health insurance for the general population and Medicaid for the impoverished.

In July 2010, the president signed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a bill designed to promote financial stability by protecting consumers from financial abuses, ending taxpayer bailouts of financial firms, dealing with troubled banks that are "too big to fail," and improving accountability and transparency in the financial system - in particular, by requiring certain financial derivatives to be traded in markets that are subject to government regulation and oversight.

Long-term problems include inadequate investment in deteriorating infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable current account and budget deficits - including significant budget shortages for state governments - energy shortages, and stagnation of wages in lower-income families.

Labor force - by occupation: farming, forestry, and fishing 0.6%; manufacturing, extraction, transportation, and crafts 22.6%; managerial, professional, and technical 35.5%; sales and office 24.8%; other services 16.5%

Unemployment rate: 9.1% (2011 est.), 7.2% (2008 est.), 5.8% (2002)

Natural resources: coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber

Industries: leading industrial power in the world, highly diversified and technologically advanced; petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, mining

USAcurrency USA EconomyCurrency: US Dollar (USD; symbol $) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of $1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs: All major credit and debit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are widely available. Visitors are advised to carry at least one major credit card, as it is common to request prepayment or a credit card imprint for hotel rooms and car hire, even when final payment is not by credit card.

Traveler’s Cheques: Widely accepted in US Dollar cheques. Pound Sterling traveler’s cheques are rarely accepted and few banks will honor them. Change is issued in US Dollars. One or two items of identification (passport, credit card, driving license) will be required.

Exchange rates:

  • British pounds per US dollar: 0.6176 (2011 est.), 0.6468 (2010 est.), 0.6494 (2009), 0.5302 (2008), 0.4993 (2007), 0.5418 (2006), 0.5493 (2005), 0.5462 (2004)
  • Canadian dollars per US dollar: 0.9801 (2011 est.), 1.0302 (2010 est.), 1.1431 (2009), 1.0364 (2008), 1.0724 (2007), 1.1334 (2006), 1.2118 (2005), 1.3010 (2004)
  • Chinese Yuan per US dollar: 6.455 (2011 est.), 6.7703 (2010 est.), 6.8314 (2009), 6.9385 (2008), 7.61 (2007), 7.97 (2006), 8.1943 (2005), 8.2768 (2004)
  • Euros per US dollar: 0.7107 (2011 est.), 0.755 (2010 est.), 0.7198 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)
  • Japanese yen per US dollar: 79.67 (2011 est.), 87.78 (2010), 93.57 (2009), 103.58 (2008), 117.99 (2007), 116.18 (2006) 110.22 (2005), 108.19 (2004)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2011 est.), 4.2% (2008 est.)

Other USA Economy Info

We hope that your USA job search has been successful and you will get the USA visa too. So, if your USA cover letter and USA resume are ready, you may distribute them to your future employers or job recruiters and start preparing for the USA job interview.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with the USA economy info!


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