Worries of a Zombie Economy

By Sharon Ko

MEDFORD, Ore. — New reports show Americans are spending less in every retail sales category. The low numbers are leading some analysts to believe it’s the coming of a ‘zombie economy.’

Local resident Pat Dole says she just wants a job. This hope is what thousands of other Jackson County residents also want and what over 160,000 Oregonians are hoping for.

“You look around the streets and you see people that are “homeless” and you can look at them and you can tell drug and alcohol didn’t get them there. Something else happened in their life,” says Pat.

Without a job, Pat says she dosen’t spend a dime. A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that this is a trend across the nation. From May to June, overall spending has declined 0.5 percent and this consecutive decline for three straight months hasn’t happened since 2008.

“It is a bit worrisome, with retail sales being 2/3rds of all GDP broad measurement of spending of the output of the economy” says WorkSource spokesman, Guy Tauer.

Experts believe some factors are driving Americans to hold off on spending. With only 80,000 jobs added across the nation in June, people are uncertain about the job market. Plus, they say the European debt crisis and presidential election play a role.

“If Obamacare was going to be repealed, and well it wasn’t, so there is uncertainty on what’s going to happen once its enacted,” says Tauer.

Though, WorkSource believes our economy is not headed to a zombie-like state. Jackson County added 15 hundred private sector jobs in May. WorkSource says they have yet to see how the summer hiring season will turn out.

Nevertheless, for Pat who has tried for over a month to land a job, she says a job can’t seem to come soon enough.

“I’m very good, and I’m honest and I’m hard-working, and I can’t get a job,” she says.