As a new year beckons, American businesses find themselves on the precipice of what most economists are predicting will be the healthiest economic growth since before the Great Recession began seven years ago.
After several years of sluggish economic growth, that’s welcome news for American businesses large and small. Still, in the wake of previous predictions of strong economic recovery that ultimately proved overly optimistic, some U.S. business owners would be forgiven for being skeptical about the painting of an economically rosy 2015.
However, this may well be the year that economists are finally correct in predicting solid economic growth. Putting all the rhetoric aside, the recent economic ‘arrows’ point convincingly towards a strong economy in 2015.
A few economic signposts worthy of consideration:
- According to the federal Bureau of Economic Indicators, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the U.S. grew by an impressive 5 percent in the third quarter of 2014; that is on the heals of the previous quarter’s solid 4.6 percent growth
- Personal income, another strong measure of consumer confidence and economic growth, was also up by .4 percent in November
- Gas prices are down—way down—from where they were last year. A barrel of crude oil has declined from over $100 a barrel in the first half of 2014, to below $50 a barrel at the beginning of this year. That savings translates into hundreds of dollars more in the pockets of the average American consumer
- The stock market has, repeatedly, set new record highs over the last several months, and corporate profits are healthier than at any time in recent years
- And perhaps most importantly, unemployment has been steadily declining, with the most recent unemployment rate in the U.S. down to 5.6 percent
While a healthier job market is good news for American workers, and signals overall strength in the economy, it also presents the prospect of a more challenging recruiting environment for American businesses. As more companies look to hire new employees, businesses will have to hustle to ensure they can recruit their first choice of new hires.
At Sackett National Holdings, we are on the front lines of the recruiting efforts of American businesses, as our SettlementOne Screening employment screening products play a key role in helping companies ensure they’re hiring the best available candidates.
And when one considers that U.S. businesses hired 252,000 employees in December—after hiring an impressive 353,000 the previous month—the laws of supply and demand dictate that 2015 is likely to be a far more challenging year for companies looking to hire new employees.
In addition to our company’s employment screening experience, as CEO of a rapidly expanding business, I also have first hand experience with the many challenges of ensuring the quality of new employees.
And so while I–like all American business leaders–welcome the long-awaited arrival of good economic news, I also recognize that with that positive news comes added business responsibilities.
If American businesses hope to ensure that economic predictions for a strong 2015 are reflected in their own corporate performance, they must also ensure that their company’s business—and hiring—plans are reflective of, and responsive to, the nation’s dynamic economic environment.