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Youth Play a Role in the Recession

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Lately I’ve noticed a lot of talk about our country’s current economic recession; some examples are the auto bailouts, the sub-prime mortgage companies going under, and Washington Mutual Bank crashing. These events may seem like problems only your parents and other adults will face, but you and other teens play a large role in this recession as well.

An economic recession is defined as a 5% to 10% drop in GDP, or Gross Domestic Product. A recession is different from a depression in that a recession usually does not affect the people of the economy as severely as a depression. Though the effects are not as severe, they are still damaging and can be felt not only by the people of the economy, but by the teenager’s o f the economy as well.

One of the issues regarding a recession and teens is that many businesses rely on teen spending. Teen spending slows as a dependant variable of parent funding, causing these reliant companies to drop in sales drastically during a recession. One clothing company, Abercrombie & Fitch, reported a sales loss of a whopping twenty-eight percent. Abercrombie & Fitch was not the only major clothing company damaged by the recession. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. dealt with an eleven percent sales drop and Aeropostale a five percent sales drop.

In a national study fifty-seven percent of teens claimed to have spent less this holiday season than in seasons before. This situation has many companies fighting tooth and nail to bring these clients back in. J.C. Penny, a department store founded out of Texas, opened up their spring clothing line, aimed at teens, on the twenty-sixth of December, one of the busiest days of the year for retail, in the hopes that it would bring in more shoppers.

Retail is affected heavily by a recession, but it is second to the stress level and emotional toll faced by teenagers during an economic state like this. One psychiatrist, Dr. Michele C. Thorne, recommends that parents sit down with their children weekly to update them on the status of their income and spending. She cautions that parents use discretion when speaking to their children so not as to put adult issues on a child's plate. Dr. Thorne also recommends the parents outline their plans and allow the children to give their input.


The recession is playing an important influential part in our country right now, and we need to keep ourselves informed. Talk to your parents and see if they’d be willing to sit down with you to talk about the current state of our economy. It will take the stress off of the situation and help you mature in the way of economic interest.





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