29 Dec What does the U.S. economy look like for 2022?
As our nation continues to recover from the global economic stress that was the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for the economy in 2022 is still a bit of an unknown. With the development of the latest strain of the virus, however, the United States may be facing another roadblock on the path to recovery. The coronavirus has already caused a significant drop in consumer spending and business investment, both of which are critical components of GDP growth. In addition, the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate cuts have helped support the economy by lowering borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. But with the potential for future outbreaks of the coronavirus, it seems unlikely that we will see a return to pre-pandemic levels of activity anytime soon.
What does this mean for the economic outlook in the U.S. for the next year? It’s not exactly clear at this point. While the country potentially braces for another wave of coronavirus from the delta and omicron variants, there was some good that came in Q4 of 2021 as the American economy experienced strong growth. This small growth is a good sign for the hope of a bounce back for Americans, but there is still quite a bit of unknown going into the new year due to the Omicron variant. The forecast for the U.S. economy in 2022 is a mixed bag right now and the question still remains: what will the U.S. economy look like in 2022?
Prices should decrease at some point in 2022
One of the biggest economic stories of 2021 was the supply chain issues that hurt both retailers and consumers. These supply chain and trade issues caused retail prices, as well as domestic shipping costs and timelines to rise in the United States, as well as across the globe. The issues were brought on by a growing demand for foreign-made goods, a shortage of labor, congestion in ports, low inventory levels and a lack of containers.
Some of the largest price hikes for consumers were seen in the grocery stores. Here are some notable price increases consumers saw in the stores over the last year:
- Ground Beef:$5.67/lb (Nov. ’20) – $6.27 (Nov. ’21)
- Sirloin Steak:$8.87/lb (Nov. ’20) – $11.50 (Nov. ’21)
- Eggs:$1.45/dz (Nov. ’20) – $1.71 (Nov. ’21)
- Orange Juice:$2.28 (Nov. ’20) – $2.65 (Nov. ’21)
Economists are suggesting that these supply chain problems may subside somewhat in 2022, relieving some of the economic stress in the U.S., but not bringing us back to the pre-COVID pricing that we saw. Of course, rising prices aren’t only a result of the supply chain disruptions. We also saw inflation grow in 2021.
Will inflation level out in 2022?
In 2021, the U.S. inflation rate reached its highest point since 1990, hitting 6.2% in October of 2021 and will likely end at 6.8% for 2021. This was 0.4% higher than what was initially forecasted. As a result of the high inflation rate, prices in goods and energy saw a sharp increase. Of those, energy costs saw the biggest jump, climbing over 5% from September to October. Gasoline prices also rose over 65% from 2020.
The big question for our economy going into 2022 is will the inflation rate level out or will it continue to increase? The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has said that the Federal Reserve isn’t exactly sure whether prices will decrease, but inflation could be stemmed down with the halt of bond purchases and increased interest rates in 2022.
Along with rising inflation rates, we also saw the national gross domestic product (GDP) grow at a slower rate than usual. Economists believe that as the inflation percentage eases slightly in 2022, the GDP will slowly increase as it has since the sharp increase of 33% in Q3 of 2020.
Will we see job growth in 2022?
After the large unemployment surge of 2020 due to the pandemic, the unemployment rate started to see a downward trend in 2021. In November of 2021, the unemployment rate dropped to 4%, which is the lowest it had been since 2008. However, the number of jobs added was much lower than expected, adding just over 1 million jobs in the first half of 2021. Economists expect this trend to continue in 2022, but they don’t know how many more jobs will be created with this slow growth.
Job growth will be difficult to determine with the possibility of another large outbreak happening due to the coronavirus. With the job market shifting back to somewhat normalcy, another wave of coronavirus could end up damaging the work that has been done to repair the market after 2020.
In fact, Goldman-Sach’s experts have already revised their economic forecast for 2022, suggesting that the new Omicron variant could have major impacts including “slow economic reopening, exacerbate goods supply shortages if virus spread in other countries causes tight restrictions, and it could delay the timeline for some people returning to work or could even cause labor shortages to linger.”
According to Fastmarkets, we are facing the symptoms of an overheating economy. This means we have high job openings and increasing inflation. With the labor force reducing, down nearly an estimated 2.5 million in October of 2021, we will need to see the labor force catch up in 2022. Even with unemployment going down, labor force participation still remains low.
How Scion Staffing can help ease the economic stress going into 2022
As the U.S. economy possibly faces a delayed recovery, the number of open jobs is expected to rise to a record high by 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 10.9 million unfilled positions in July of 2019, which grew to 11.1 million in August. By October of 2021, the BLS expects the total number of unfilled jobs to reach 12.6 million. To combat these numbers, companies should consider using a professional staffing and recruiting agency such as Scion Staffing. Scion has a team of industry experts in several different sectors to help your company fill open positions with qualified and vetted candidates from our diverse field.
Scion Staffing is proud to offer award-winning temporary staffing services. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that regardless of your needs or staffing numbers we are able to seamlessly support your team. To learn more about our recruiting and staffing services, please contact us today. Additionally, to learn more about Scion Staffing, we invite you to visit our about us page!