The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every industry in the United States. The virus has infected millions of Americans and drastically damaged the economy. Some industries, such as healthcare and groceries, have seen an uptick in business, while others, such as travel and hospitality, have been decimated. This blog post will take a closer look at five industries that have been particularly affected by COVID-19.
Travel and Hospitality
The travel and hospitality industries have been hit hard by the pandemic. With stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions in place, people are simply not traveling as much as they used to. This ripple effect on the entire industry, from airlines and hotels to tour operators and event planners. The sector used to contribute over a trillion dollars to the country’s GDP. Now, that’s a near impossibility. But the industry is adapting to it in various ways. Here are some of them:
Many restaurants and tourism businesses have concentrated on their local markets during the pandemic. They rely on drive-thru, curbside pickup, and delivery to stay afloat. Local service businesses have also been marketing themselves as a safe alternative to national chains.
With in-person events canceled or postponed indefinitely, many companies have turned to virtual events to generate revenue. This includes online conferences, webinars, and even virtual trade shows.
Retailers have also been struggling since the pandemic began. With nonessential businesses forced to close their doors and people working from home, there has been a decrease in foot traffic and overall spending. According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales plunged 8.7% in March 2020 compared to the previous year. This was the steepest decline since the Great Recession of 2008-2009. The retail sector is primarily adopting it through e-commerce.
E-commerce has been rising for years, but the pandemic has accelerated its growth. Many people now shop online to avoid going to brick-and-mortar stores. This shift has been a boon for Amazon and other online retailers. It’s also forced brick-and-mortar retailers to invest more in their online presence.
The pandemic has also impacted the manufacturing sector, although not to the same extent as retail or travel/hospitality. Production shutdowns in China (where many goods are manufactured) due to COVID-19 caused disruptions in global supply chains. This led to a decrease in demand for many manufactured goods, such as electronics and automobiles. However, with factories beginning to reopen and people starting to spend again, manufacturing is slowly recovering. The country is dealing with it by moving to manufacture locally.
The pandemic has led to a resurgence in local manufacturing. With global supply chains disrupted, many companies are turning to manufacturers closer to home. This trend is driven by a desire for shorter lead times, greater flexibility, and improved quality control.
The pandemic has impacted the construction industry in a few different ways. First, there has been a decrease in demand for new construction projects. The pandemic has also contributed to the lack of skilled workers in the country, mainly engineers and construction managers. Thankfully, the industry found ways to deal with this problem.
Hiring recruitment agencies is one way to deal with the skills shortage, especially regarding rare positions like engineers. Engineering recruitment services help hire the right talent for the job, which is crucial in construction. They also help firms hire engineers from other countries with a surplus of them, such as India and China. Another way the industry has adapted is by adopting new technology.
Construction companies have been turning to new technology to increase efficiency and productivity. This includes project management software, drones, and 3D printing. These technologies help firms manage projects remotely, survey sites and create prototypes quickly and cheaply.
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry had been struggling even before the pandemic struck. A combination of factors—overproduction, political instability, and shifting consumer preferences—led to a sharp decline in oil prices in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened, with global demand for oil plunging as people stay home and businesses curtail their operations. This has led to widespread layoffs and billions of dollars in losses for energy companies worldwide. The oil and gas industry is dealing with this by cutting costs and focusing on long-term projects. These projects aim to weather the current downturn and position the companies for future growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted virtually every industry in the United States—some for better and others for worse. However, As the country begins to emerge from this crisis and return to some semblance of normalcy, these industries can recover as long as they continue to adopt to the new normal.