Support Marketplace

How the Greek debt crisis can hurt hiring in the U.S.

A man walks outside the headquarters of Bank of Greece during a demonstration against government's austerity measures in central Athens.

Steve Chiotakis: In Athens today, taxi drivers and tax assessors are striking again over austerity measures, the same proposals that are supposed to prevent the country from defaulting on its debt. The situation's hammering stocks around the world at the moment, and driving fear that the European debt crisis will spread.

The uncertainty's not just limited to the markets though -- it's also affecting the broader economy here in the U.S.

From Washington, Marketplace's David Gura reports.


David Gura: The watchword in Europe continues to be "contagion." The fear that the economic problems that plague Greece -- and a few other countries -- could spread across the continent.

Megan Greene is with the Economist Intelligence Unit, in London.

Megan Greene: If the euro zone were to pull apart, than that would certainly affect the U.S. as well.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, have been paying close attention to how this could affect financial institutions here in the U.S. And that's because the European debt crisis could affect more than the markets.

Timo Klein is a Berlin-based economist with IHS Global Insight.

Timo Klein: The risks are that there may be some further dampening effects on hiring.

Many U.S. funds are exposed to Greek debt, and economist Megan Greene says that's prompted firms to take a close look at their balance sheets.

Greene: As banks are retrenching and are worried about recapitalizing, and aren't investing, that will certainly affect job markets everywhere.

Including the U.S., where there's already no shortage of economic uncertainty.

In Washington, I'm David Gura, for Marketplace.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...