Board Converting News, November 9, 2020

Return To Normalcy (CONT’D FROM PAGE 30)


Competition for quality workers makes the hiring pro- cess all the more difficult. “Some sectors of the manufac- turing economy, such as the food and automobile indus- tries, are hiring quite a bit,” says Palisin. “When the labor market gets tight, upward wage pressure can’t be far be- hind. “To remain competitive companies are restructuring their compensation packages to retain higher-end skilled In the opening months of 2021, some key indicators should offer clues to how the year will turn out. Palisin feels the level of durable goods orders may signal the econ- omy’s trajectory, as will the level of capital expenditures. “Businesses will be looking for increased certainty on mat- ters such as market stabilization, the ability to hire, access workers.” New Deal


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to qualified labor pools, and workplace safety protocols,” he says. “It would be good to have some kind of resolution around trade issues as well. All of those concerns will be front-burner ones.” As for the view at Moody’s Analytics, Koropeckyj looks to consumer sentiment levels in early 2021 for insight into how freely shoppers will spend the rest of the year. “We will also look closely at the number of business bankrupt- cies,” she says. “And the core unemployment rate, which excludes temporary layoffs, will gauge how much jobless- ness is attributable to permanent layoffs which leave be- hind long-lasting scars on the labor market.” But perhaps the best economic indicator of all will be the rate of progress toward a cure for the not-so-hidden elephant in the room: the pandemic. “Businesses will be concerned about the timeline of a vaccine,” says Koro- peckyj. “The path towards some semblance of economic normality hinges upon its development and widespread distribution.”

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Phillip M. Perry is an award-win- ning business journalist with over 20 years’ experience. A three time recipient of the American Bar As- sociation’s “Edge Award” for edi- torial achievement, hs byline has appeared over 3,000 times.


November 9, 2020

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