Economists study how society distributes resources, such as land, labor, raw materials, and machinery, to produce goods and services. They conduct research, collect and analyze data, monitor economic trends, and develop forecasts on a wide variety of issues. Economists study energy costs, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, business cycles, taxes, and employment levels, among others.
Economists are always studying business activity in the world around them. Is the iron ore dug out of the ground in Minnesota going to be used to manufacture train rails, power tools, or something else? How will the mining company clean up after mining? Will it leave big holes in the ground? Will it fill them back in? Will it make sure the nearby streams, ground water, and air remain unpolluted? How will the answers to each of these questions affect people?