America is officially in a recession. It is not only the worst downturn since the Great Depression, but it has also brought about the end of the largest expansion in history. The severity of the recession is such that improved conditions, particularly regarding unemployment and job restoration, may not be felt until 2022.
Effects of COVID-19
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the American economy. Thousands of businesses have permanently closed since the pandemic hit. At the moment, 47 million Americans are out of work.
This is grim information and a bleak immediate future, to be sure. However, there’s a jarring flip side to this coin: some industries are thriving because of the pandemic. Companies with online-only presence have experienced unprecedented boons. The word “zoom” has been solidified in our vocabulary as a verb we use regularly, much like “google.”
There’s a third category of business experiencing both sides of the pandemic simultaneously. Some brick and mortar locations are hemorrhaging profits so fast they can’t stay afloat. Their corresponding online divisions are experiencing such explosive growth, and they can barely keep up. Businesses have been forced into making changes they may have otherwise not made – changes so far proving to be beneficial to them and consumers.
Below is a list of three of the most affected industries, which should be of particular interest to current job searchers.
1. Same-Day Online Grocery Delivery
In-store sales have struggled, but stores are compensating with more delivery options. The whole online retail industry has experienced exponential growth. But the niche market of same-day grocery delivery has been significantly affected. Many people are unwilling to take the calculated risk of venturing out for groceries, especially when safer options are available.
Look at Walmart, for example – their app recently became the most downloaded shopping app, surpassing even Amazon. While this was happening, physical store locations were counting losses.
Instacart is another app that saw a historical increase in app downloads. Though not officially in business with brick and mortar stores like Fry’s, Albertsons, and Sprouts (some of the stores Instacart contracts with), closures of those locations could potentially reduce their profits. Like Walmart, Instacart has had a spike in online orders. The closure of these stores has made it particularly challenging for Instacart to fulfill the increasing demands.
Bottom line: There are wrinkles to iron out in the current operating system. As the current state of affairs has proven, growing too much too fast can quickly get messy. However, both shopping apps are here to stay, and online grocery shopping will likely be around and remain successful long after the pandemic. Dumpling is a new company trying to compete with Instacart, and all three are overall great options for essential service.
2. Online Gaming
Sites like Hellspin.com keep online options attractive by offering more games and advanced security. It’s a result that is unexpectedly beneficial; even experts call it “a good thing.” The online gaming industry is facilitating a sense of community among people by bringing them together.
It was not uncommon before the spread of COVID-19 for online gaming to be used yes, for fun, and as a conscientious removal of oneself from physically interacting with other people. A husband avoiding his wife, kids not wanting to deal with nagging parents, and even business executives hiding out from micro-managing bosses are real-life scenarios that encourage online gaming. Nonetheless, the new coronavirus world we live in has changed that into something else.
An activity that once separated us from people is now sought after to connect people worldwide. Quarantining and social distancing have proven to be mentally taxing and psychologically draining. People are feeling isolated and lonely. Because of this, online activities built to rely on social interactions are on the rise and bringing in the revenues. Even with casinos slowly re-opening, some are finding they enjoy the online experience better.
Any new online casino in 2020 offers a fresh approach that consumers want. Moreover, they also encourage players to build connections and communities with existing friends or new ones.
Bottom line: While online gaming is still a case of big businesses getting bigger, there’s something special about knowing humans, not machines, operate it. With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s the ideal way to have some fun and enjoy some human interaction.
The push for more widespread implementation of telehealth is long overdue. The health sector, its ever-changing and ever-present internal issues notwithstanding, is a constant in the American economy. The expenditures and profits involved are staggering.
And while the shift from in-person visits to care conducted over the phone may seem counterintuitive, it’s forcing a much-needed change to newer technologies and a more inclusive model.
Now patients in more rural areas have access to the care they couldn’t get before. More mental health patients are experiencing that, as well. Should this trend continue, the market is set to be worth $175.5 billion by 2026.
Telehealth is paying doctors who weren’t being paid previously for home visits and paying them much faster. Patients who require medical equipment have it shipped directly to their homes. They can even obtain drug prescriptions and have their cancer care plan managed online. As good as video quality already is, it is only going to get better.
Before the pandemic, the medical industry was already transitioning to telehealth, albeit slowly and with less conviction. Now, with no time to waste or justifications for not trying, a whole new medical care world is unfurling before us.
Bottom line: Telehealth’s slow-moving progress has been kicked into high gear out of sheer necessity, and the upsides are undeniable. Technological advancements already in existence, along with both patient and provider perks, make this a no-brainer. Although COVID-19 rocked the US health sector, telehealth is finally getting the exposure it needs, benefiting everyone involved. Telehealth is here to stay, and we should be thankful for that.
What’s Next for The United States?
The American small business economy needs to be rebuilt. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. These are just three of the many US business sectors affected by COVID-19.
We’ve lost part of our country’s lifeblood with the small businesses that have had to close. But rebuilding is the American Way, and the resiliency of this great nation is astounding. We’ll band together and rebuild from the inside-out, just like we did countless times throughout history.