If there was any question over the health local economy as we pull out of the COVID recession, headlines in the local press spotlighting the surge in Fort Lauderdale hotel openings help settle any doubts. Is your organization resilient?
As 2021 advances, that backdrop will be a factor in the local recovery, as several deepening trends driven by the pandemic also shape the business community’s fortunes. Among the trends that will influence employers this year:
- The flexibility allowed by new workplace norms.
- The shifting employer/employee relationship.
- A continuing pressure on margins.
When Florida’s voters last year approved a stepped increase in the minimum wage to $15 by 2026, starting in January, they corrected one area where the state has lagged many others. But it’s still another cost challenge to businesses whose margins are tighter with the continuing strain of the COVID environment. We are only just starting to see the cost impact of COVID on employee health benefits, typically an employer’s second-biggest cost after salaries. As employers push to keep costs in line, they will be taking steps to adjust their benefits packages accordingly. One is to expand virtual healthcare, which can save as much as $1,500 per visit for unnecessary emergency room care.
The good news for the Tallahassee economy is that all the factors that make the region so attractive allowed it to open up from the coronavirus shutdown earlier than has been the case further north. The recovery is a work in progress, but it’s well underway as 2021 progresses.