2020, the “Perfect Storm”
The COVID pandemic has taken 183,000+ lives in the US and has literally decimated industries like travel and hospitality. And sadly, it has also wiped out the most robust US economy since 1854.
128 months of growth gone in what seemed like a blink of the eye.
Before COVID hit unemployment was at a half century low, and we had record growth and record job numbers.
And suddenly, 2020 went up in flames – literally. Australia was burning, COVID hit and Americans, fueled by fear and uncertainty, wiped out inventory for all cleaning and paper products for months as they sheltered in place.
However, since all of that happened, there has been some good news – we added a record 4.8 million jobs in June and pulled the unemployment rate from 20% down to 11.1%. Then, we added another 1.8 million jobs in July, and unemployment dropped to around 10%.
Because there is no national plan in place for reopening businesses and schools, it’s a bit chaotic and feels very messy. But what I know is that Americans are resilient and flexible and have adjusted to juggling in-home daycare duties with homeschooling, virtual summer camps and staycations.
And there’s more good news! According to the majority of the 60 Economists the Wall Street Journal surveys monthly, we are starting the recovery right now. 70% of the Economic Forecasting Survey Economists believe our recovery will look like the Nike swoosh, a sharp drop followed by a long, slow recovery. But almost all agree that we are past the worst. We are beginning to rebound at a much faster pace than some predicted; however, we all know that COVID will dictate what happens in the months to come.
Much of what happens to our economic situation will be dependent upon a vaccine becoming available. According to the World Health Organization or WHO, there are 7 vaccines in large scale efficacy trials right now, which gives us some hope! It normally takes years to get through the pre-clinical and clinical trials, so this pace is groundbreaking.
Now let’s take a look at how COVID has impacted the world of work.
As far as the state of where people are physically working, 26% of workers are on premise, most of these folks sitting on the frontlines in hourly positions and essential roles, 42% of Americans are working from home, and interestingly those 42% are responsible for 2/3rds of the GDP. 33% are not working.
Not surprisingly, The percentage of company reviews that mention layoffs has risen 73 percent in April.
One highlight I am happy to see is that companies are realizing that the way they treat their employees now will ultimately predict their future ability to attract top talent. Companies who have invested in employee experience plans are satisfying 32% more of their employees than their competitors at a third of the cost.
Because of safety concerns, lack of childcare, flexibility desires, and the swift shift to this new normal, job searches with the phrase “work from home” are increasing. According to Indeed Hiring Labs, Q2 saw an 18% YOY in average monthly searches for “work from home” and searches spiked in July – a 52% increase from January.
With all the pressures and change from COVID, many of us feel stuck, but we have to get moving and start preparing for the comeback because the economy will bounce back and you need to be prepared when it does.
We offer many services to help you not only keep your head above water during this period, but also get ahead of the eight ball so you can stand apart from competitors.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how Shaker can help you prepare for what’s to come, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me directly.