The Life of an Economist Job Description, Responsibilities, Requirements, and Skills
What does an economist do day-to-day? Find out what the Economist Job Description, duties, educational background, and abilities needed are to pursue a career studying economics and providing data-based insights.
What Does an Economist Do?
Economist Job Duties and Daily Work
Economists analyze statistical data and research to study the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services and provide recommendations, insights, and forecasts to organizations.
1. Key responsibilities include:
- Researching economic issues, data, policies, practices, and theory
- Compiling data sets and economic models using software
- Analyzing data to diagnose issues in the economy
- Preparing detailed reports, forecasts, charts, and presentations
- Communicating insights through written reports, calls, meetings, and conferences
2. Economists spend much time compiling data sets from reputable statistical sources
3. Critical analysis of trends in production, employment, incomes, inflation, and other measures is core to the job
4. Mathematical aptitude is needed for building economic models and scenarios
5. Communication skills, written and verbal, are used in reporting findings to stakeholders
Knowledge and Skills Required
To succeed as an economist and provide sound insights, certain education, knowledge, and skills are required:
- A master’s degree or Ph.D. in economics is required
- Coursework focuses on economic theory, statistics, calculus, econometrics, forecasting models
- Strong grasp of micro and macroeconomic theory
- Understanding of quantitative methods and models
- Knowledge of statistical analysis software
Key Skills & Abilities
- Critical thinking skills to diagnose issues and recommend solutions
- Data science skills for accessing, cleaning, and analyzing datasets
- Math skills for building economic models and interpreting data
- Communication and presentation abilities to explain insights to stakeholders
- Attention to detail in compiling data and identifying trends
The core knowledge economists require centres on economic theory and data analysis skills. These are combined with critical thinking and communication abilities to turn statistical insights into sound advice for organizations.
Economist Job Description Template
Position Title: Economist
Reports To: Lead Economist/ Chief Economist/ Director of Economic Research
About the Role:
The economist will use statistical analysis, research, and economic theory to provide insights into financial and economic trends as well as predict the impacts of internal or external changes on the organization’s operations and performance. The role involves compiling data, building forecast models, diagnosing issues, preparing detailed reports and presentations, and communicating recommendations to senior leaders and cross-functional partners.
- Research and monitor economic indicators relevant to the organization such as incomes, production, inflation rates, exchange rates, taxes, employment levels, etc.
- Compile datasets from reputable statistical sources and internal financial systems to power economic models
- Use econometrics software and statistical techniques to identify meaningful trends and build forecast models
- Diagnose issues impacting the company’s cost management, supply chain, or strategic plans using statistical analysis
- Draft reports, charts, and presentations detailing meaningful economic insights and financial impacts for senior leaders and cross-functional teams
- Consult with business leaders to explain the research and provide strategically focused economic recommendations
- Master’s degree or PhD in Economics, Statistics, or related quantitative field
- 3+ years of experience conducting statistical analysis and building economic models
- Expert fluency in statistical software platforms (R, SAS, MATLAB, etc.)
- Solid knowledge of economic theory, forecasting models, and quantitative techniques
- Strong analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
- Ability to translate complex insights into strategic recommendations
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Frequently Asked Questions About Economist Jobs
What does an economist do?
Economists conduct research and analyze statistical data and trends to study how resources, goods, and services are produced, distributed, and consumed. They provide insights to governments, businesses, and organizations by preparing forecasts, reports, charts, economic models, and presentations with recommendations to inform strategic decisions.
What are the main responsibilities of an economist?
- Research economic issues, policies, theories, and external factors influencing the economy
- Access, compile, and clean large datasets from reputable sources
- Use software platforms to build economic models and conduct statistical analysis
- Identify meaningful trends and issues impacting operations, costs, and revenues based on data analysis
- Prepare presentations, forecasts, and detailed reports tailoring complex information for senior leaders
- Translate research insights into strategic recommendations
What qualifications do you need to be an economist?
Most economist positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D. in economics or related quantitative disciplines like statistics, mathematics, or econometrics. Extensive knowledge of economic theory, statistical analysis software, programming, cost analysis, forecast modelling, and strong critical thinking abilities are also essential.
What skills make a successful economist?
Top skills for economists include:
- Expert data analysis using statistical software
- Strong analytical abilities and critical thinking
- Advanced quantitative skills for economic modelling
- Communication skills to explain insights to stakeholders
- Research skills to deeply study issues and stay updated on the latest trends
What industries employ economists?
Professional economists are employed across sectors including:
- Government departments
- Investment banks
- Hedge funds and asset management firms
- Accounting firms
- Economic research companies
- Large corporations
Economists provide unique insights needed to shape strategic decisions across fields involving manufacturing, finance, public policy, trade, taxes, regulations and more.