Basically what economists do is analyze how people create goods and services by allocating limited resources like raw materials, land, technology, and labor. They do this by researching and monitoring things like exchange rates, business trends, taxation, employment rates, inflation, and costs of materials. They then try to find trends and develop predictions based on the data.
Economists use many different methods for collecting that data. They might survey random samples or use math and statistical models. Economists not only need to collect data, but communicate it in an effective manner so companies can make informed decisions for so the media can communicate it to the world at large. For this reason economists spend a lot of their time making reports like charts or graphs.
Economists take the theories and trends they find and apply them to benefit many different organizations and industries. Large business with many smaller branches might also have economists assess the economy of countries where branches exists or where they are looking to open new branches. Smaller businesses often hire economists as consultants or those who work in research firms.
The federal government also employs a large percentage of economists. For example, the Department of Labor studies salaries, industry growth, employment rates, and safety issues. The Department of Commerce looks at the manufacture, allotment, and use of goods and services both domestic and international. Employees of the government also use economic data to forecast the consequences of new legislation or policies, such as Social Security, tax increases or cuts, increasing the budget deficit, trade regulations, or communications.
These people study individual companies or people. They look at supply and demand to find out how to maximize production, for example, or to project how high the demand for a particular product would be.
They look at the economy as a whole to find long-term, overarching trends throughout history. They can then make generalizations and draw conclusions about investment productivity, inflation, unemployment, etc.
These economists are strongly correlated to macroeconomists. Financial economists study interest rates to see their effect on banking systems.
They look at markets internationally, studying currency exchange and the effects of tariffs and trade procedures and laws.
Organizational or Industrial Economists
They examine the markets of individual industries, studying competitors and making predictions based on the decisions of competitors. They may also be involved in protecting the industry against trusts and monopolies.
Demographic or Labor Economists
They look at trends in salary, such as how it's determined, and the need for labor. They are especially interested in causes of unemployment and the results of changes in demographic, such as a baby boom, on labor.
Public Finance Economists
They look at the government's involvement in the economy, such as taxation, deficits or surpluses in budget, or policies concerning welfare.
They use mathematics in every branch of economics. They put together economic models using methods like calculus, regression analysis, and game theory. These models explain economic happenings and help to project future economic occurrences and trends like how new taxation laws will affects employment or the duration of business cycles.
Salaries for Economists
The good news is this : Salary offers to economics/finance graduates increased 5.1 percent, bringing their average starting salary offer to $42,802. Many of these grads were offered financial/treasury analysis positions, which averaged $44,825. (www.naceweb.org)
Additional Salary information can be referenced at some of the following websites:
http://www.jobweb.com/resources/library/Salary_and_Benefits/Starting_Salary_51_01.htm http://careers.gmu.edu/students/shareref/salary.cfm http://www.rileyguide.com/salary.html#ps