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An economist is an expert who studies the relationship between a society's resources and its production or output.

Research by economists is used to shape a wide variety of policies, including interest rates, tax laws, employment programs, international trade agreements and corporate strategies.[1]

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 50% of all economists work for either a federal or state agency. The rest are employed as professors, by corporations or as part of economic think tanks.

According to the Good Universities Guide 2008, economics graduates earned an average of $45,495. After a few years in the workforce economists can earn $60,000 or more. Senior economists and econometricians can earn $150,000 or more per year. [2]

Economists' activities include:

  • conducting research
  • collecting and analyzing data
  • providing consulting services and preparing reports
  • formulating and analyzing policy for public and private organizations
  • researching public issues such as inflation, employment levels or energy costs
  • monitoring economic trends
  • developing forecasts

Areas of specialization within the field include:

  • Econometrics
  • Financial Economics
  • Industrial Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Economics skills


  1. Economist Definition. Investopedia.
  2. What does an Economist do?. Macquarie University.