As the rate of new COVID infections falls, vaccine distribution speeds up and a government relief package is poised to jumpstart the U.S. economy with $1.9 trillion. a growing number of economists now predict that instead of a slow-moving, multi-year recovery Americans will see a fast-moving juggernaut of a rebound; an economic recovery led by tech companies, marked by a sudden, titanic increase in consumer spending by the end of 2021. Some are calling this a Post Covid Boom!
Los Angeles, CA, March 8th, 2021 – Despite an ongoing pandemic, a decimated economy and depression-level unemployment, 30-year old Haley Freeman remained confident in early December that she would soon land a job. She had just graduated from a leading software training program and was certain she would find work as a software engineer within a few weeks. Her confidence was not misplaced. Freeman was offered a job the day after she graduated.
"I had family that contracted the virus last year and had friends left unemployed by it,” said Freeman, a West Point Graduate, army veteran and Black Hawk helicopter pilot. “it was a stressful time for a lot of families like ours. That’s why after I left the army last year, I was determined to find a job that would be in demand even if the pandemic went on for years. With help from a VA career training program, here I am, a few months later, blessed with job security at a time when many Americans have none."
The pandemic-resistant tech industry that gave Freeman her confidence and a job is the cornerstone of optimistic predictions that the U.S. economy will see an economic boom – not just a recovery – by the end of 2021.
Buoyed by falling COVID-19 infection rates, a successful vaccine distribution program (8% of all U.S. citizens has been vaccinated so far), and the pending $1.9 trillion Covid Relief package, the U.S. economy is projected pick up this summer as isolation and stay-at-home orders are lifted throughout the country, possibly for good.
One of the most encouraging signs of a resurging economy is the just-released jobs estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which found the U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs In February, beating economists’ estimates of 210,000. Also last month, retail sales jumped as the latest round of government aid began showing up in consumers’ bank accounts. Some economists now predict that by late 2021, the nation’s gross domestic output will be larger than it would have been if the pandemic health crisis hadn’t occurred.
In the tech industry, signs of a 2021 boom are even more encouraging. Sabio, provider of the software training program from which Haley Freeman graduated in December, has seen a huge surge in market demand for software engineers despite the ongoing pandemic. “It’s a fact: the pandemic sparked a fire, accelerating a digital transformation already underway at companies in every industry worldwide,” said Sabio CEO Liliana Monge. “I believe it condensed 10 years of change into one and all the online, remotely managed, cloud-based platforms businesses need to compete must be built and maintained by a skilled tech workforce. This fundamental shift in how we work is why tech will lead our post-pandemic recovery”. Monge pointed to a Microsoft report from this year that estimated the total number of “technology-oriented” jobs would increase from 41 million in 2020 to 190 million in 2025.
Economic forecasts for the tech sector support Monge’s enthusiasm. International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that the technology industry is on pace to reach $5 trillion in 2021. If this number holds, it would represent 4.2% growth, signaling a return to the trend line that the industry was on prior to the pandemic. And the demand for skilled tech workers is not confined to software. In 2021, rebounding companies in every industry are planning rapid growth in their reliance on artificial intelligence (A.I.) and industrial automation technologies as manufacturing and supply chains return to full operation.
One overarching factor driving enthusiastic predictions for an economic boom by the end of 2021 – a supercharged rebound for the tech sector and other major industries - is the fact that consumers are sitting on a trillion-dollar mountain of cash, the result of months of lockdown-induced saving. Millions of Americans who were forced to work from home through most of 2020 (many of them tech workers) are eager to spend their cash at restaurants, theaters, vacations, and investments in their own businesses, as lockdown restrictions are lifted in 2021.
While there are new concerns about three COVID-19 variants and how they may generate new infections in the U.S., confidence remains high among economists and tech industry leaders that the economy will recover in a matter of months, not years. "If our economy is a ship, it’s pointed in the right direction to a recovery in tech and other industries,” said Monge. “The $1.9 trillion recovery package coming from Congress is the wind in the sails we need to see our economy rebound by the end of the year.”
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