Chamber Friday “On The Mark” 1070AM: Strong headwinds ahead—let’s all lean in and push.

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Chamber Friday “On The Mark” 1070AM
for February 5, 2021
By Bob Garrett
This month our theme is: “Strong headwinds ahead—let’s all lean in and push.”
U.S. private employers are slowly resuming their hiring as more and more signs show that new COVID-19 cases are waning, and most state governments are lifting the heaviest of their lockdown measures implemented 11 months ago to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Now is the time to push forward on wide-spread vaccinations and prudent business re-openings.
During the ‘Chamber Friday On the Mark,’ Mark Lawrence and his co-host will welcome Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber Board Chair, Art Thomas, along with President/CEO Bob Garrett to discuss the late-breaking US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Employment Situation Report,” continue to roll out of the Chamber’s 2021-2022 Strategic Plan “Connect and Move Forward…Together,” touch on the continuum of education and training options available in our valley and, finally invite all listeners to the Annual Economic and Strategic Forecast with Anirban Basu slated for March 19th.

What we expect to hear

The ADP National Employment Report, released this past Wednesday, predicted that our national non-farm economy added 174,000 jobs in January 2021.  However, there are other economists who are suggesting a much smaller number of a 49,000 job increase. Either way, all predictions indicate a rebound is underway and contrasts with the decline of 78,000 jobs back in December 2020.  December’s report marked the first time that national employment shrank since the early days of the pandemic.

“The labor market continues its slow recovery amid strong COVID-19 headwinds,” Ahu Yildirmaz, of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement. “Although job losses were previously concentrated among small and mid-sized businesses, we are now seeing signs of the prolonged impact of the pandemic on larger companies as well.”
Throughout the pandemic, job losses have been concentrated heavily in services-related business ‘supersector,’ which accounted for 156,000 jobs of the total gain in ADP’s prediction. Education and health services led those businesses with 54,000 new jobs created, while professional and business services added 40,000 positions. The leisure and hospitality industry, the hardest hit by the pandemic, saw its payroll increase by 35,000 last month.

The goods-producing ‘supersector,’ meanwhile, added 19,000 jobs with most of these jobs—18,000—coming out of the construction industry.  Medium-size businesses with 50 to 499 employees created the most jobs, expanding their payrolls by 84,000 jobs last month. Small businesses added 51,000 jobs, and large businesses creating 39,000 jobs. Analysts anticipate unemployment will hold steady at 6.7% in the January report.

So how are we doing?
The 2020 year-end headline for Pennsylvania’s economy might read: Returning to Prosperity…Slowly. A graphic explanation of Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate over the past 45 years looks like this:

According to the ( county-by-county report, Greater Susquehanna Valley counties continue to ‘to be competitive’ in comparison with all of our state’s 67 counties. Specifically, each county is at: Montour at 5.0% (up from 4.7%), with Union and Snyder at 5.1% (down from 5.5% and 5.6%) and Northumberland at 6.7% (down from 7.4%).  

GSVCC 2021-2022 Strategic Plan
Connect and Move Forward…Together!
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