FIRST PERSON | After I recently graduated from Nassau Community College in New York, I decided that the job I kept while I was in school wasn't the work wanted to be doing now that I have a degree. Going from a job as a pharmacy technician to trying to find a job as a drafter for an architecture or engineering firm is not a usual jump people make. Not only was I deciding to enter a job market that was historically bad, but I would also be taking on the added expense of repaying $8,000 in student loans. The decision by Congress to pass the bill that keeps the U.S. economy from going over a "fiscal cliff" is going to have a great effect on where my money is going in the future.
I am going to be taking less money home. As the Social Security payroll tax cuts will expire, all earners are going to see more of their paycheck coming out in taxes. While a 2 percent change might seem small, the average American household is going to see about $2,000 less taken home this year. I'm under the $50,000 threshold, unmarried and without children, so I am going to see an estimated $1,693 less this year than last year.
Long-term unemployment benefits remain. Going from one job to another is absolutely frightening with the current state of the economy. What I can worry about less, however, is that if a successful job search ends in failure by being laid off or the company folding and finding myself jobless, there is still the safety net of long-term federal unemployment benefits in place.
Businesses are still getting credit. Certain businesses will still receive tax credits, which could mean saving a lot of American jobs. Companies that may be eligible for the Production Tax Credit may be companies with positions I will be applying for. Such companies are working on improving our access to wind, solar, hydroelectric and other renewable energy resources. These "green jobs" are steadily improving in the currently uneasy job market. Thanks to the agreement made by the Senate and the House to avoid the fiscal cliff, I may have a better chance to get in to the occupation I want to be in.