Continued Job Losses Impact on Wall Street – Will Green Industries Save The Day?

With U.S. economic data revealing continued extensive job losses and a decline in mortgage applications, along with a worse than expected increase in factory orders, Wednesday saw investors locking down on profits garnered in the last four upbeat stock market trading sessions. Major stock market indexes had declined by close of business on Wednesday with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 64.04 points to close at 8,676.83, the Nasdaq composite dropping 10.88 points to 1,825.92 and the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 experiencing losses across all sectors and shedding 12.77 points to a provisional close of 931.97, being 0.73 percent, 0.59 percent and 1.35 percent respectively.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may have influenced investors to be cautious as he noted in a speech to lawmakers that large US Budget deficits are a threat to financial stability, emphasizing that the US government cannot continue indefinitely to finance the shortfall by borrowing at the current rate. He brought out that the nation needs to plan for the restoration of fiscal balance in order to maintain the confidence of the financial markets. Lawmakers were urged to make a committed effort to reduce the close to $2 trillion budget deficit. Bernanke reaffirmed his conviction that the pace of economic contraction appears to be slowing down, indicating the possibility for a return to economic growth later in 2009.

With job losses affecting hundreds of thousands of American citizens, many are looking to the renewable energy sector for job opportunities. It has been estimated by the University of California that the renewable energy sector, or the so-called “green” industry, has the potential of creating up to 4 million jobs. While it is true that the wage workers can expect to earn is $12 per hour, representing a cut of up to 60% for some workers, it is a growing market and those in the know believe that as workers attain skills, they can expect to be compensated accordingly. For young people entering the job market, $12 per hour, skills training and prospects for a steady job are likely to look very attractive. Investors will also no doubt be watching the green industry with interest as ecologically sound technology gains ground in a world increasingly aware of the impact of its carbon footprint.