A survey from the National Association for Business Economics, conducted between December 23, 2019 and January 8, 2020, indicated an employment slowdown for the coming year. The declines were primarily found in the services, goods-producing, transportation, utilities, information, and communications industries. The slowdown was attributed to a number of factors, including the trade war with China and worker shortages. Even so, businesses were more optimistic about 2020, with 30% expecting the economy to grow between 2.1–3.0%.

We all know how that turned out: According to a recent government report, the U.S. economy contracted 3.5% overall for 2020, and the unemployment rate reached as high as 14.8% during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.