I was invited to speak this week on the topic of “Contracts” to a local chapter of a national service organization, the membership which is comprised of business owners serving the IT market. I’ve found there is no better way to gauge the direction of the jobs economy than asking a diverse set of business owners how they see things – particularly when the audience includes businesses in the staffing business.  After a spirited discussion of how covenants not to compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions act to protect a business from attack (and correspondingly, how the lack of such provisions exposes a business to attack), I asked the group, “How do you see things in the staffing side of the IT environment?”

Given the upside on automotive and IT of late, I expected to hear that there was a scarcity of finding qualified candidates to fill positions and that the number of open positions was “huge” (as Bernie would say). As it turns out – I was half right (which if you’re a negative person would mean I was half wrong!).  The group concurred there is a scarcity of qualified persons to fill IT positions. To my surprise, however,  I was told that the number of open positions is declining. The healthcare field is in a state of flux, due to the uncertainly of Obamacare, Repeal and Replace, etc., leaving projects on hold. On top of that, automotive sales are on the decline with inventories of new and used vehicles climbing. Will this scenario extend to other arenas – such as construction? Maybe not – if the push to rebuild our infrastructure takes hold – the construction sector should see a surge, without regard to whether housing continues to increase or slackens.

Will the infrastructure boom take hold? I hope so, but I fear it could become victim to the chaos of Washington.  As to our Michigan economy –history makes it clear we remain automotive dependent. If auto slackens, the shortfall will not be covered by a national push on infrastructure. We should prepare for a slowdown in our local economy and have a contingency plan in place in case it leads to a major slowdown. My rule – “Cash is King.”  You need cash in the bank as your buffer when credit evaporates, overtime goes away and jobs decline. If you’ve got the cash – that’s great. If not, I believe the easiest way to save up cash is to stop spending it. My favorite expense to eliminate is those monthly payments to the credit card industry. (I know my banker friends cringe when I say this – but that is how I see it!) If you’re paying them $600 per month and we can find a way so you don’t have to – then you can save $600 per month – which over 4 years is $28,800 (and that is without any interest earnings). Believe it or not – we have the strategies to accomplish this goal. To find out, I suggest you come to our FREE Seminar this coming Wednesday, April 12, “Debt Elimination if the Grand Slam of Finance.”  I can give you 28,800 reasons to attend.

 

Enjoy the weather – we’ve made it!

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