Dollars & Sense – Pandemic Trends

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How Pandemic Trends May Affect Investment Trends in the Future

The pandemic has created many shifts in our lives, and those changes have far-reaching effects across a number of industries and demographics.

Packaging

Online shopping was popular before the pandemic, and it seems there’s no going back now. However, with home delivery comes a lot of packaging, and more and more of it is environmentally friendly. Look for innovations in biodegradable shipping materials, transportation, delivery and waste management solutions, not to mention niche retailers to compete against Amazon.

Technology

Gradual-moving tech trends got a coronavirus jumpstart last year. The boost affected dozens of industries, including:

  • Telemedicine and remote diagnostics
  • E-learning
  • Virtual exercise
  • Online banking and digital payments
  • Business collaboration
  • Restaurant and grocery delivery
  • Virtual events
  • Industrial automation and robotics
  • 3-D printing
  • Cybersecurity

Investments in technology to refine and expand these operations should continue to increase.

Auto industry

The auto industry was poised for change even before the pandemic, driven by digital connectivity, electrification, autonomous driving and shared mobility.2

Effects on female workers

In September 2020, more than 1 million Americans dropped out of the workforce — and 80% were women. According to McKinsey & Company, one in four employed women considered quitting or reducing hours during the pandemic due to increased housework and childcare duties. Studies found that women largely took on the bulk of these responsibilities despite both spouses working full time.3

Perhaps a silver lining of this pandemic-induced scenario is that it negates the myth that relatively few women are in C-suite and government leadership positions because they “choose” to stay at home. Instead, many face difficult tradeoffs.4

Moving forward, public and private solutions are likely to focus on affordable childcare options and paid leave to help women get back into the workforce.5

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 1 CB Insights. June 21, 2020. “24 Industries & Technologies That Will Shape The Post-Virus World.” https://www.cbinsights.com/research/report/industries-tech-shaping-world-post-covid/. Accessed Dec. 10, 2020.
2 McKinsey & Company. Sept. 30, 2020. “The future of car buying: Omnichannel, personalized, and fun.” https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/the-next-normal/car-buying. Accessed Dec. 10, 2020.
3 Sarah Green Carmichael. Crain’s Cleveland Business. Oct. 21, 2020. “Opinion: COVID-19 explodes the myth that women ‘opt out’.” https://www.crainscleveland.com/opinion/opinion-covid-19-explodes-myth-women-opt-out. Accessed Dec. 10, 2020.
Ibid.
Jennifer Liu. Dec. 11, 2020. “This company allows workers to take a 6-month leave of absence and retain 20% pay—here’s why.” https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/11/how-leave-of-absence-pay-could-help-keep-parents-in-the-workforce.html. Accessed Jan. 6, 2021.

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