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There’s Still Time

Photo: holiday lights in Philadelphia

You’re probably getting a lot of emails reminding you that there’s still time to buy stuff in time for Christmas. Some even offer free overnight shipping in case you’ve left things to the last minute. In spite of the marketing blitz, I don’t think there’s the same buzz to the holidays as there once was. Maybe it’s because everything is online nowadays. You never seem to hear news stories about crowds lining up for the year’s hottest toy. The stores that sold them are mostly gone. Christmas movies are on Netflix now not in the theater where you’d sit jostling for elbow room, often with people you’d never met and were likely to never see again. Good or bad, those days are probably gone forever but it’s not too late to recapture some of that community spirit by getting outside and enjoying the holidays together. Those of us at the CHR Philadelphia office are lucky enough to be able to take a lunchtime or after-work stroll through the Christmas Village across the street at Love Park or see the holiday lights and go skating at City Hall. It’s fun and it builds community spirit.

I want to wish my friends, colleagues, and everyone in the County House Research family all the best for the holidays. As always, I am grateful for our clients and thankful for the hard work and dedication of my CHR teammates. May the holidays and the New Year bring us peace, prosperity, and good health.

Warmest regards,

B. Zimmerman

Season’s Greetings from County House Research

Courts and County House Research offices will be closed on Tuesday, December 25 for Christmas and Tuesday, January 1, 2019 for New Year’s Day. We wish all our clients and colleagues a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Happy Holidays!

2019 Hiring Outlook

By all accounts, hiring will continue at a robust pace in 2019. The hiring outlook is the best it has been in 12 years according to a survey of 12,500 businesses by the Manpower Group, with employer optimism riding high in all sectors and areas of the country. A skills gap, partly the result of retiring baby boomers leaving the workforce, has contributed to a tighter labor market. This is especially the case in traditionally blue collar jobs in manufacturing and the trades where hundreds of thousands of jobs remain unfilled. In addition to higher pay and bonuses, employers are turning to skills education as a way to attract and keep workers. See our nifty infographic for highlights.1

1Sources: Manpower Group, “U.S. Hiring Intentions at 12 Year High as Demand for Workers is Set to Grow in 2019”  (11 December 2018).

LinkedIn 2018 Emerging Jobs Report”  (13 December 2018).

David McCann, “For Manufacturers, Skills Gap Keeps Widening.” CFO.com (16 November 2018).

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Christopher Rugaber, “U.S. job openings in October rise to 2nd-highest on record.” Indiana Gazette (16 December 2018).

Jason Devaney, “Study: US White-Collar Workers Outnumber Blue-Collar Workers.” Newsmax.com (13 December 2018).

My Recipe for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a perfect time for people to connect as friends, families, and communities. I am incredibly grateful for my good fortune, especially in my work here at County House Research. Over the last 20+ years, I have been given the gift of dear colleagues, wonderful clients, and a great team. Have there been challenges? Sure, but that’s life. And I think we’re better for having faced those challenges in fellowship and with civility. So here’s my recipe for this Thanksgiving:

Step 1. Sit down with people you know and maybe some who you don’t.
Step 2. Talk about the good things we share.
Step 3. Eat dessert.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my clients, colleagues, and the CHR team. Thank you all for another great year.

Warmest regards,

B. Zimmerman

We Were Half Right

Last August, the Tip Sheet reported that Washington, D.C. was the odds-on favorite for Amazon HQ2. Well, we were half right. Last week, Amazon announced that it will split its new headquarters – and the anticipated 50,000 new high-paying jobs – between the D.C. suburbs and Queens in New York City. Amazon received billions of dollars in incentives and concessions from the winning cities that are expected to be recouped through increased tax revenues and other means. The company has also promised to invest $5 billion over the next 15-17 years. The decision to split the HQ and open a third 5000-employee operations center in Nashville was presented as a way to avoid overwhelming any one area while maintaining access to top talent. Despite the split, the winning cities will now have to grapple with the real challenges of accommodating the headquarters’ massive office space and housing needs. Residents of the proposed HQ sites are worried that they will be displaced as Amazon transforms their neighborhoods physically and demographically. There is also a general consensus among analysts that the purpose of the HQ2 “beauty pageant” was to collect highly valuable economic development data from the participating cities.