We talk to Brent Goff, the main News Anchor at DW (Deutsche Welle TV) in Berlin and Host of AGENDA with Brent Goff Talk Show about eurozone economics and what the future holds for young professionals entering the business world.
- The Dow Jones had its biggest one-‐day fall of the year on Thursday. Investors are concerned about this economic growth warning. Do you think the Eurozone could be going back into recession – arguably before it has made a full recovery?
In the Eurozone the threat of another recession is a matter of location, location, location. Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, stalled earlier this year. Apart from the normal “the sky is falling” angst in public discourse, most people noticed nothing. The people in Greece, Italy and Spain still wish they enjoyed that kind of buffer.
- Do you think the job market will be/is being impacted upon by these economic fall‐backs?
Again, the impact of economic fall-backs is mitigated by where you live in the Eurozone to a vast degree. Unemployment remains relatively low and steady here in Northern Europe, while youth joblessness along the Mediterranean remains at terribly high levels. I don’t see that changing much in 2015.
- Should global young professionals be concerned?
Definitely. No one is an island in the world anymore. What happens to your neighbour, your colleagues or other nations on other continents influences the way you live more than ever before. It is in everyone’s interest for everyone to do well.
- Could this situation affect those entering the work place or those who have just embarked on their career? Is job security likely to be an issue?
Studies show people starting their career during a recession will earn less than those who first go to work in a bullish economic environment. I get the impression that young workers are very worried about job security and therefore, don’t dare to push the issue of benefits or work-personal life balance.
- There has been a downgrade of growth prospects for Italy, France and Germany according to the IMF, which undoubtedly will affect other Eurozone countries. In your opinion, what effect is this having on the job market and job security specifically in Germany?
It could mean a “big yawn” is about to engulf those country’s labour markets. By that I mean a lacklustre desire to hire and grow businesses because external factors seem too great to offset with business as usual. Hiring freezes are inevitable.
- There has been talk of the Ukraine Crisis being a driver of the economic slowdown in Germany, do you agree & why?
I think the fear of German exporters losing the Russian market due to a geopolitical crisis is justified. That said, when was the last time you heard about contracts or orders dropping? It feels as if those sanctions have not bitten Germany as initially feared. (But I wouldn’t throw a party in 2015!)
- What do you think are other influential factors in the current decline of the German economy?
Is there a real decline in the German economy? Consumers don’t seem to notice one, yet. I believe the strict austerity of Berlin will have lasting negative consequences on German GDP. The country risks saving itself “kaputt” and starving all projects that drive growth and expansion.
- Do you see Germany’s current economic situation improving soon?
I see 2015 as a year of more uncertainty. Watch export figures in the first and second quarter. That’s key to any educated guess about the near future.
- What advice would you give young professionals that are entering/ have recently entered the European job market?
As I learned in the US, prepare yourself mentally and financially for numerous job changes, city changes and career switches. This isn’t your father’s factory/office anymore. The one thing that will be constant in your working life: nonstop change.