By Mark Meltzer
The September employment report was disappointing, with just 194,000 jobs created, and it raised concerns about the strength of the economy.
But, as we get deeper into October and companies prepare their budgets for 2022, I’m incredibly optimistic about the economy.
The Delta variant surge has been waning for several weeks now as the vaccination rate continues to inch up, and it’s very likely that in early November children 5-11 will begin to get vaccinated. Once children are vaccinated, the spread of the virus to adults who surround them will begin to slow. Companies are also increasingly requiring their employees to be vaccinated, which will immunize more adults from the virus.
Covid has been the major force restraining the economy and when it abates, people will begin to travel and go to restaurants again, and the pent-up demand we saw starting to be unleashed in July, before the Delta surge, will more fully take effect.
Sure there are some concerns. An upsurge in inflation unsettled markets for awhile, and supply chain issues are temporarily preventing many consumers from spending the money they accumulated from more than a year of mostly staying home. But those are temporary issues.
Near the end of 2019, there was a lot of concern that the economy was heading into recession after more than 10 years of economic growth. The sudden shock to the economy brought on by the pandemic forced us into a brief recession, but in so doing set the stage for the next expansion.
Now, the future looks very promising. If we can get the pandemic finally under control as the beginning of 2022 dawns, and I believe we will, I expect we will see at least a couple of years of strong economic growth.
At Hope-Beckham, we see the signs of a strengthening economy. Our clients’ businesses are doing well, and new clients are seeking us out as they look to make their companies and brands more visible. We expect that to continue as companies become more confident about the post-Covid economy.
Our events business continues to feel the effects of the pandemic. Some companies and nonprofits are safely going back to live events, with most attendees believed to be vaccinated. Others are being more cautious and sticking with virtual events. But it’s likely the vast majority of events will be live in 2022.
Another thing we’re excited about as we head toward 2022 is our new expertise in the Hispanic market. We’ve already begun speaking with existing clients about how HBI, led by Partner Gina Espinosa Meltzer, can help them increase their visibility in the Hispanic community and begin to engage with this fast-growing market segment. And we’re beginning to speak with companies who are not yet clients.
Already, 18.7% of the U.S. population, or 62.1 million people, is Hispanic, and much of the population growth in the next 10 years will come from Hispanics.
If you are not yet engaging with the Hispanic market, now is the time to start. Let’s talk about how we can help you.