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continued from page 30             along as it is and unemployment lower,   there are signs  that the fast-moving
         lems peeking over the horizon, for busi-  employers may need to raise wages   economic carriage may be nearing the
         nesses of all stripes:             to attract  enough  people,” says  Hoyt.   top of the roller coaster. “The nation is
           •  Labor shortage.  “The labor short-  That can crimp profits.      experiencing robust economic growth,
         age  and  skills deficit  is  a  major  issue   •  Rising interest rates. Higher costs   tightening labor and product markets,
         for businesses,” says Manzella. “If you   of money pose a challenge for everyone,   intensifying wage and price pressures,
         can’t find the employees you need, you   especially if the Federal Reserve raises   monetary tightening, and higher  in-
         can’t grow your business.  And if you   rate too quickly. “Rising interest rates   terest rates,” says Koropeckyj. “These
         have to go where  the skills  are,  that   may not cause much impact in the short   characterize  a  business  cycle  nearing
         might mean moving overseas.”       term,” says Palisin. “But later in 2019   its end, just prior to a recession.”
           Palisin concurs. “In our survey, about   the higher cost of money may start to   When  might that event occur?  “We
         70 percent of manufacturers plan to in-  constrict the availability of capital.”  prefer  not to forecast  recessions,  be-
         crease employment next year, but over   •  Health  care  costs.  “On  the  cost   cause they are often caused by shocks
         90  percent  have  had  difficulty  hiring   side, health care is still a concern,” says   that cannot  be predicted,” says  Koro-
         enough  skilled  trades.  They  are  espe-  Palisin. “Some 70 percent of our mem-  peckyj. “However, our forecast for 2020
         cially concerned about what’s called ‘the   bers report an increase in medical costs   includes a set of conditions that are
         silver tsunami,’ in which baby boomers   over the past year. Again, there is a lot   consistent with a recession.  While we
         are leaving the workforce, taking their   of unpredictability in that sector. Will   do  not  expect  the  textbook  definition-
         skills and knowledge with them. At the   the  Affordable Care Act continue?  Be   -two quarters of GDP decline—to occur,
         same time not as many young people   replaced? And will that result in higher   real GDP growth is expected to slow to
         are going into skilled trades.”    costs? Employers don’t know where all   a crawl.” Other relevant predictions in-
           In response to the talent shortage,   this is going.”               clude a too-rapid increase in unemploy-
         manufacturers are increasing work    •  A “hard Brexit.” If The U.K. fails   ment, the cessation of job growth, flat
         hours for their current employees, in-  to land a favorable  deal with the Eu-  industrial production, and a decelera-
         troducing more automation, and run-  ropean Union, an unmoderated depar-  tion of personal income growth.
         ning apprenticeship training programs   ture  can  cause  problems to the  world   For businesses of all stripes, the pru-
         to build workforce pipelines within their   economy. “We expect a Brexit deal to be   dent course  seems to involve  capital-
         companies. “All this will help, but it   reached at the last minute,” says Hoyt.   izing on the current good times while
         won’t solve the problem,” says Palisin.   “If it is not, it would be a negative for   setting up  Plan  B for  the  inevitable
         “That’s why many companies are being   the global economy and US  consum-  correction.  “Businesses  are optimistic
         proactive in promoting manufacturing   ers as supply chains and movement of   about 2019, but we are all aware that
         careers in their local school districts.”  workers would be disrupted.”  recessions are cyclical,” says Manzella.
           •  Wage hikes. It’s  the negative re-                               “And there is no doubt that the next re-
         sult  of low  unemployment: Higher  la-  Business cycle ages          cession is on its way. The only question
         bor costs. “With the economy chugging   To look a bit further down the track,   is when.” WRN

                                                       In 1924, Germany’s ‘Adolf Bleichert & Co.’ celebrated
                                                       its 50th Anniversary. By the time of this occasion,
                                                       the company had designed and built the world’s
                                                       record holding wire ropeways: Longest and highest
                                                       elevation (Argentina); Length of system over water
                                                       (New Caledonia); Steepest (Tanzania); Highest
                                                       capacity (France); Northernmost (Norway); and,
                                                       Southernmost (Chile).

                                                       Written by the great-great grandson of the
                                                       company’s founder, this book includes over 100
                                                       pictures and detailed engineering drawings that
                                                       explore the legendary company’s history, and
                                                       several of its record-holding systems.

                                                                      Available at for your
                                                                      Kindle or in paperback.

                                                                          Available at
                                                                          in paperback.
                                                                      ‘Like’ it on Facebook for
                                                                      relevant information and news.

         32     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   December 2018
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