Updated: Apr 28
As we begin the process of emerging from COVID protocols, the shutdown, and the short-term economic crash I wonder what the future actually has in store for us in the years to come. Yes, there is certainly pent-up demand as we attempt to return to our 2019 lives. But we live in the new normal, but I ask what this will the "newer" normal look like. I recently sat in a meeting and brought up a potential issues in the way that the organization measured the outcomes of their key metrics. When I posed this question I was asked what the problem was? What are your trying to solve a future problem now? Really!Yes, it is important to solve problems that are evident but what about the ones we can predict based upon past trends.
The pandemic was been unprecedented but how different is it to the Spanish Flu or HINI Influenza A Virus? Should we use what we have learned as the road map for the coming years. We see that virus lasted a little over two years, so hopefully the Spring of 2022 will be the definitive moment- the endemic. How discruptive with the newer normal be?
So, let’s consider what this next year may look like. History informs us that variants of the original virus will be more contagious but less fatal.
Economic ripple waves will disrupt, but how can we be the disruptor?
Tight Labor Market- Indications are that workers are not returning, they are resigning. Including Long Haul Drivers, Food Service, and Retail. Will this be a Great Exodus? To prevent a disruption, its simple, take care of your employees and make sure they know that they have a sense of belonging.
Supply Chain- Packaging is a multi-source issue. Take a simple spice container, the lids are produced by one supplier and the container is made by another. This will cause disruption along every link of the chain. So to disrupt make sure to firm up your purchasing agreements and contracts on consumable goods.
Housing- Simply housing prices will continue to soar but at some point the Fed will increase interest rates which should correct overpriced listings. This boom will also cause rental prices to increase due to a backlog of apartment construction this past year. Be a proactive renter, ask for an extension of your lease now before prices skyrocket.
Inflation – All of these issues will cause inflationary pricing beyond what many have anticipated. Could increases of 8% or 10% over current prices result in a recession? Hopefully not. I don't believe we will go into a recession in the first half of 2022, but I would be very hawkish after the third quarter. To disrupt make sure the pricing contracts are in your favor now should inflation hit 40 year highs.
Education- I can’t image going through this pandemic as a teenager or in my first couple of years of college. Those who invest in their future now with thank themselves later. If inflation soars so will the price of everything, including education. Education never gets less expensive. The professional labor market still requires candidates to have attained at the very least a bachelor’s degree, but why? Here are some reasons why the class of 2021 should plan now.
1. Increased earning over the course of your career.
2. Focus on programs with specialized skills.
3. Increased access to opportunity and networking.
4. Building confidence in your field.
5. Greater satisfaction in work, life, and retirement.
THE temptation would be to just start working instead of going to college or tradeschool, but will this make you the disruptor?
National Archives and Records Administration. (n.d.). The flu pandemic of 1918. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/flu-pandemic-1918
Rosenberg, J. (2019, May 24). Booze, bootleggers, flappers, and the adventurous 1920s. ThoughtCo. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.thoughtco.com/1920s-timeline-1779949
Social and economic impacts of the 1918 influenza epidemic. NBER. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.nber.org/digest/may20/social-and-economic-impacts-1918-influenza-epidemic
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (n.d.). Measuring the value of education : Career outlook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2018/data-on-display/education-pays.htm