Economists have the challenging task of analyzing trends in the use of components that produce goods or services, including raw materials and machinery as well as land and labor. In a field that pays well, research is a key tool that provides the basis for analyzing data and predicting forecasts. Areas that economists typically research in government or business positions include these:

• cost of energy
• fluctuations in interest rates
• effects of inflation or deflation
• impact of importing and exporting
• employment rates
• use of natural resources
• energy production
• agricultural productivity
• the health of a society

Working as a Comptroller

The wellness of a business is usually measured by its financial statements and other documents such as the general ledger, payroll, accounts receivable and payable, budgets, and taxation. Comptroller is usually the job title for an economist who holds the position in a government agency or controller for the same job in a business. In large corporations, the controller supervises subordinates who may work as managers of credit, payroll or accounting departments.

A company depends on a controller for its financial health, needing the assurance that its money and investments are managed properly. Producing financial reports, developing business strategies, planning for long term goals and managing subordinates are aspects of a position that pays nearly $50 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at

Analyzing a Business

A focus on every aspect of a corporation’s activities is the job of a business analyst who has a master’s in economics.  Economists who also have an MBA are also ideal for this role.  Businesses must spend money to grow, and making sure that income exceeds expenditures is a key to success as an analyst. The bottom line reflects the results of establishing a profitable relationship that balances cash flow and the cost of operations. Knowledge of technology is essential for the consistent awareness of financial positions and for the development of business strategies.

A thorough understanding a company’s financial instruments helps an economist working as a business analyst effectively use futures and options contracts as well as checks, drafts and bonds wisely. BLS projects a growth outlook in the field as faster than average for a position that pays $78,000 as a median salary.

Providing Consultant Services

Business owners have the responsibility to run a successful operation, often depriving them of the time required to observe inefficiencies in conducting business as usual. Economists who work as management consultants understand the best practices in business and finance and can make suggestions for improvement. Identifying problems by studying processes and procedures is the role of a management consultant, and evaluating managers is often met with resistance. BLS projects the median salary at $78,600 with the top percentile earning more than $142,000.

Applying the complex theories in economics offers challenges, financial remuneration that is higher than many other occupations, and a sense of accomplishment. Adapting academic training to practical applications in business is a rewarding achievement. Economists who have people skills in addition to analytic abilities have access to essential positions in a business environment.