Heading Into The New Roaring 20s
MARCH 3, 2020
Starting a new decade brought with it many retrospectives about the accomplishments, trends and disasters in the 2010s. It truly is fascinating to think how much lives have changed in 10 years when they don’t seem all that different day to day. Following are some points we found noteworthy that might change your perspective moving forward, as well as information about how we have evolved.
The 2010s were dedicated to digging out of an economic disaster and the 2008 recession. In the process, Americans learned a savings and spending lesson. We reportedly now save 7.8% of income after taxes, which is double the pre-recession amount. Household debt has decreased, especially in terms of mortgages. Each household statistically has less car, mortgage, credit card and other debt. For those still paying for college or helping their kids through college, student loans are a debt category to watch. The amount of student debt an individual carries has soared in the past 10 years.
Hiring trends have rebounded and unemployment is at an all-time low. The number, however, can be a bit deceiving if you dig into who is counted. For instance, in 2019, the percentage of people who got a job each month who were not counted as unemployed hit 75%. According to economists, this is the highest this figure has been in 30 years. The good news is we have returned to the pre-recession number of working-age Americans who are employed.
Trade wars shifted the economy and impacted the construction market’s material pricing. The supply chain had to make adjustments in prices, and in some markets, this increased the cost to build. Trade continues to be monitored for continually increasing tariffs and Brexit. The United Kingdom’s turmoil is still unraveling and so is the fair-trade aspects with the United States.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Some of our blogs focus on overall wellbeing because it is directly linked to work performance. People who feel better are going to outperform those who are sluggish—in the field and the office. It’s exciting to hear that research and preventative screenings have influenced the cancer rate to drop (the American Cancer Society reported a 29% decrease from 1991-2017). It was surprising to learn that the life expectancy of Americans stopped growing in 2010 and actually dropped every year since 2014. It currently sits at 78.6 years, which seems great compared to 69.9 years in the 1950s. This health trend grabbed our attention because the United States is the only country with an advanced economy and superior medical options where there has been a steady decrease. Here is your friendly 2020 reminder to take care of yourself and create balance in your life.
The Internet won as the technology trend at the start of the millennium, and discovering what to do with it ruled the 2010s. Jobsites are wireless, tools and equipment are trackable, and worker performance and safety are monitored online. Business software has made specs, plans and budgets instantly accessible by entire project teams.
A look at safety shows more contractors are creating dropped-object safety programs. The goal of these programs is simple—to eliminate dropped objects at heights. Many tool manufacturers have released rated lanyard attachments as standard equipment on corded and a cordless drills, driver sets, lights and grinders. Just like more and more homes have doorbell cameras, jobsites also are increasingly monitored. This helps to verify deliveries and the presence of workers during the day while monitoring for theft at night. Cameras and the data generated by the devices has made the work progress more streamlined and safe.
What have we been up to for the past 10 years? At the top of our list is we hope we have made your job of designing, planning and installing curves easier. We enhanced our marketing efforts and sent our product representatives into more markets to spread the word about the Flex-Ability Concepts offerings.
We created an online calculator where contractors and designers can determine how much Flex-C Trac to use. The Three Legged Dog, a device that holds metal studs in place while still allowing for deflection or vertical movement of the top plate when necessary, was expanded to include six sizes. A video explaining how it works also was developed. We created several other how-to videos, and we have videos about some cool installs online.
Many project press releases were completed over the years, as well, spotlighting how contractors and architects utilize curves in design—with products that are simple to install. That was a productive 10 years, and we have no plans to stop or slow down. It turns out a new decade simply is a good opportunity to pause, take notice, learn and keeping going.