The problem I have with New Year predictions is that it’s an all or nothing proclamation. In the real world things aren’t black and white, it’s usually various shades of grey. Predictions don’t have to be made with absolute authority, but offered with the odds of something happening.
Companies Will Pay The Same Salary To People Who Live And Work In New York, San Francisco, Iowa Or Idaho
One of the trends for 2021 is that ‘some’ companies will pay their workers the same salaries whether they reside within commuting distance of their office or in another state hundreds of miles away. Location-based salaries and compensation are now being questioned and re-evaluated in light of the success of the massive work-from-home or anywhere-remotely trend.
A number of high-profile corporations such as Reddit and Zillow have informed their employees that they could work wherever they’d like and earn the same amount of money as if they were based in expensive cities such as New York or San Francisco. This trend may continue, but it wouldn’t be rational to think that every major business would adopt this model. It’s reasonable to see other companies follow this trend as it’s a great way to attract and retain workers.
If this trend takes hold, it will be a boon for workers. The prospect of not needing to live within commuting distance of a job and the ability to apply for a role anywhere in the U.S. could be a career game-changer. A person who’s stuck in a region that doesn’t offer appropriate jobs would have to settle for what’s available. When companies are open to recruiting talent away from the major business hubs, it opens up new vistas for a large number of Americans.
Wall Street Banks And Tech Companies Leaving New York and California
Major cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco, have punishingly high tax rates and lack business-friendly policies. With pushes to defund the police and cutting down on prosecutions, these cities have been plagued by crime, violence, looting and disorder. Government officials have demonstrated flagrant disregard for their citizens by haphazardly ordering businesses and schools to shutdown with little warnings.
As a consequence of these actions, there’s been a steady exodus of businesses moving out of New York and California. Now that working from home has taken its hold, the trend offers CEOs options. No longer do they have to pay for expensive real estate in big cities. They can now have people working remotely or relocate jobs to locations that are less costly.
Some banks, money managers, hedge funds and tech companies will continue moving to Florida, Texas and other lower-cost, business-friendly states, but not everyone will do it. As long as taxes remain high and people feel that their local and state officials aren’t looking after their interests, the migration should continue to be steady. This will have a deleterious impact on the cities that see an outflow of wealthy people, white-collar professionals and companies.
The Degradation Of City Living
Unless city and state politicians enact positive changes, the flight out of high-taxed, expensive cities will continue unabated. As corporations and well-paid, white-collar workers flee, the cities will bear the brunt of plummeting tax revenue. The decline in funds will force mayors to drastically cut costs. This will include massive layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters, garbage collectors and other municipal workers.
With less services, the cities become dirtier, crime increases and living conditions worsen. This will prompt even more people to move. A cascading downward spiral could occur, making places like New York dangerous and inhospitable. It could become just like in the dark days of New York in the ‘70s. It took over a decade to turn things back around.
The suburbs, exurbs and places like Miami and states such as Texas that are actively courting companies to come there will see an influx of businesses and white-collar professionals. The pleasant weather, little or no state taxes and a business-friendly attitude will continue enticing companies and workers to relocate for a better lifestyle.
There’s The Chance That The New Year Will Usher In A Roaring 2021 With A Renewed Exuberance And More Jobs
We could retrace history. From 1914 to 1918, the United States and the world witnessed the horrific carnage of the “Great War,” now known as World War I. Toward the end of the war, in 1918, a vicious virus ravaged humanity. The “Spanish Flu” of 1918 to 1919 led to the deaths of about 50 million people worldwide.
After the war ended and the virus subsided, a new era, the Roaring ‘20s, started. This time period was marked by a new sense of optimism. There was an overall feeling of a brand new dawn. Everything looked possible. There were new technological inventions, the Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance began, arts and culture flourished, people were dancing, drinking and enjoying life to the fullest.
We may see something similar happen in 2021. UCLA economists are optimistic about the new year. They call for an initial “gloomy COVID winter and an exuberant vaccine spring.” Thereafter, the university predicts the U.S. will realize “robust growth for some years.”
After the vaccines are rolled out, there should be a new feeling of confidence and exuberance. The fear over contracting the disease will slowly dissipate over time. When you’re in the middle of something terrible, it feels like it won’t ever end, but eventually it does. It’s hard to fathom going out without a mask and enjoying a concert, but it will start again, as people are social creatures and enjoy being around others.
As 2021 progresses, it’s likely that many people will remain concerned about Covid-19 and continue to wear masks, stay indoors and avoid human contact. There will be an equally large amount of people who will be exhilarated to start living again. They’ll want to go to restaurants, bars, clubs, sporting and music events—similar to what happened during the Jazz Age.
More Jobs Will Be Created
The job market will heat-up, but it will take a while. When the vaccine, coupled with wearing masks and social distancing prove to work, we’ll see a rapid change in our collective mindset. People will become more positive and optimistic. They’ll want to go outside and enjoy themselves.
Economists have noticed that Americans have been saving their money, as they are no longer engaging in the behavior of the past and don’t spend as much. The stock market has been hitting new record highs, as investors are betting on a brighter future.
Corporate executives, excited about moving from a pandemic era into a new epoch, will feel the animal spirits and grow their businesses. When management believes things are looking rosier, they’re more apt to initiate projects, launch new business lines, acquire other companies and hire new people.
There will be a lot of pent-up demand by the consumer. Their spending will help businesses. This will create a positive momentum. Companies will scramble to hire to stay one step ahead of their competition.
Additionally, as healthcare has become a big issue during the pandemic, there will be an abundance of job opportunities available in this space.
Hybrid And Flexible Work Days
It’s likely that the work-from-home trend will continue into 2021 and beyond. Many people will still be afraid to take mass transit into work and say they’ll refuse to go into the office. It will be too hard to bring back workers all at once, especially as there’s legal liability risks for the companies. Corporate executives need to be concerned with possible lawsuits if their workers contract Covid-19.
A hybrid scenario in which people work a few days in the office and several at home, such as Google is offering, may become the new standard. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent, said Googlers “won’t be back in the office until September 2021—and even then they probably won’t be in every day.”
Pichai informed his staff that the company plans on implementing a “flexible workweek” once people start returning to its offices. The company will have people work at least three days in the office and the rest remotely. Pichai said about this initiative, “No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model—though a few are starting to test it—so it will be interesting to try.” Google hopes this hybrid work model will offer a better experience to its employees.
This scenario would be nice for workers. They’ll have choices instead of being demanded to embark upon long commutes into the office. People will have a better balance and quality of life. As Google is a business leader, most other companies may follow their lead and it’s possible that a large number of companies will follow Google with their own versions of the hybrid model.
Living in another country or working as a digital nomad may gain traction in 2021. In addition to working-from-home, many people have taken to doing their jobs at the beach and some have decided to relocate to lower-cost locations within the United States to save money—while still getting the same pay. The next logical destination for the adventurous is to travel abroad and work remotely from there. Some may decide to break up the daily grind and move to other places to shake things up and make it more interesting.
The work anywhere-in-the-world or as a digital-nomad movement is skewed towards white-collar workers, well-paid singles without attachments mooring them to one physical location and people pursuing travel and the excitement of something new and different.
Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers, tech titans and others who have the financial wherewithal will continue moving out of New York, for the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Martha’s Vineyard and the suburbs of Connecticut and New Jersey.
Hawaii saw its economy suffer due to a lack of tourism. In an effort to turn things around, state officials, intent on reviving the lackluster economy, started a program to bring remote workers to the state. Hawaii enacted the “Movers & Shakas” program. This term represents the “hang loose” hand gesture and the foundation of a campaign attracting people to come to the island and set up remote offices.
A small number of countries are encouraging Americans to migrate there with special visas and open arms. Since tourism is down due to the Covid-19 and economies are hurting, some countries need and covet newcomers. Barbados, Estonia, Bermuda and Georgia have all opened their doors to Americans, inviting them to come, work, pay taxes and contribute to the economy.
We’ll likely see cities, states and countries outside of the U.S. make generous offers to entice Americans to move or work there on a temporary or long term basis. These places will recognize that if they have a warm climate, sound technology infrastructure, low taxes and a welcoming government, they could attract a lot of people which will result in more revenue for these locations.
The Wealthy Make Bank
The pandemic has swiftly increased wealth and income inequality. Online companies, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple and Zoom, have performed amazingly well and the executives and shareholders were richly rewarded. Other sectors, such as those in the hotel, travel, hospitality, airlines and brick-and-mortar retail shopping have done poorly.
We’ve seen a K-shaped recovery, in which the wealthy are getting ridiculously richer. Billionaires have reaped unfathomable amounts of more money. For instance, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are now members of the $100 billion club. This is happening as millions of average Americans lost their jobs and many families struggle to make ends meet.
White-collar professionals who were able to work from home did relatively well, whereas those in low-wage jobs—who couldn’t—have lost out. The trend of the rich getting richer looks like it will keep going strong. Meanwhile, small businesses will continue to get crushed and many will permanently close as they can’t compete with the digital online giants and suffer from being ordered to lockdown or curtail their business operations.
Senior level people who work for near-monopolies like Facebook sectors stand to keep winning. Workers in non-tech companies or hard-hit industries, including hospitality, airlines and retail stores will continue to struggle. Over time, travel will resume, restaurants will be allowed to reopen and workers in these sectors can expect to see more jobs becoming available.
Big Brother Government Exerts Control
Politicians have taken over greater control during the pandemic. Critics say that they now have too much power and have become petty tyrants. They complain of capricious rules and regulations that aren’t fair. People are told to stay at home, but there have been numerous instances of the very same political bureaucrats violating their own edicts.
Out of fear, a large segment of the population has ceded their basic rights for what they believe is safety. Others will start vehemently fighting for their rights. We’re seeing this play out with small businesses complaining and protesting that their livelihoods have been destroyed.
If the trajectory continues, elected officials and bureaucrats will impose even more rules and regulations and grab more power and control. There is a real fear that Americans will lose a lot of their liberties. Many will gladly sacrifice some freedoms for safety. This could significantly alter the country where city, state and government officials wield too much power over the people.
This will be a boon for people who work in the public sector, as well as professionals in compliance, legal, regulatory, audit and related roles.
Americans are a relentless, maverick, rugged and determined bunch of people. We refuse to give up in the face of disaster. Against all odds, we persevere and bravely forge forward, in pursuit of our dreams and goals.
When a person loses their job, they have tough choices to make. You can start searching for a new job in your field, try to pivot to a new type of role or reinvent yourself. After a number of months without any luck, you then have to figure out another plan. This could involve becoming an entrepreneur.
The U.S. has started new businesses at a record-setting rate, in what is being deemed as a “startup boom.” John Haltiwanger, an economist at the University of Maryland, said that within the first two months of the virus outbreak, there was a noticeable rise in new business applications. Haltiwanger pointed out, “The third quarter of 2020 is the highest quarter of applications we’ve ever seen.”
Inc. Magazine, a publisher that covers small emerging businesses, echoed Haltiwanger’s findings and wrote, “Over the past three months, more new businesses were launched in the U.S. than in any quarter in history.” The report showed, “Between June and September, nearly 1.4 million startups were founded.”
As we won’t see an immediate increase in new jobs during the first quarter of 2021, those who’ve been out of work for a long time may join the ranks of newly minted entrepreneurs. This could also include working in the gig-economy and taking on side-hustles. This will last as long as the job market remains soft with hundreds of thousands of Americans filing for unemployment benefits each month.
Tech, Robots And Artificial Intelligence Will Take Away Millions Of Jobs
If we didn’t have enough to worry about—Covid-19, a nation divided, massive job losses and civil unrest—now we have to be concerned that robots will take our jobs.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) concluded in a report that “a new generation of smart machines, fueled by rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, could potentially replace a large proportion of existing human jobs.”
The study suggests Robotics and AI will cause a serious “double-disruption,” as the coronavirus pandemic pushed companies to fast-track the deployment of new technologies to slash costs, enhance productivity and be less reliant on real-life people.
Millions of people have lost their jobs due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and now the machines will wipe out more jobs, according to the WEF. The organization claims automation will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025.
On the positive and hopeful side of this news, the WEF says 97 million new jobs will be created by the rapid development of technology. Currently, approximately 30% of all tasks are done by machines—and people do the rest. However, by the year 2025, it’s believed that the balance will dramatically change to a 50-50 combination of humans and machines.
In a dire prediction, WEF said, “While some new jobs would be created as in the past, the concern is there may not be enough of these to go round, particularly as the cost of smart machines falls over time and their capabilities increase.”
The Downside To The Work Anywhere Trend
There’s a frightening downside to the work-from-home, work-remotely, getting rid of the location-based salary system and emergence of digital nomads. Job seekers will be forced to contend with more competition.
Up until now, candidates only worried about the other people in their immediate vicinity applying for the same jobs. Now, they’ll have to compete with the volume of applicants applying from all over the U.S. and possibly other countries.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey have both said that they’ll seek out talent anywhere. This tactic is good for their respective companies as they could recruit for the best people across the country and around the world.
While it opens up the ability for job hunters to apply to companies no matter where they’re based, they’ll have to compete with hundreds if not thousands of other job seekers.