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What will 2022 bring for Dallas-Fort Worth businesses?

Plenty of economic questions remain as we tackle a new year.

By Staff Reports

What will 2022 bring
What will 2022 bring

2021 was supposed to be the year when COVID-19 disruptions faded away in the rearview mirror.

The life-altering virus instead brought the fine print into focus: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

The global pandemic’s economic fallout — labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, skyrocketing housing prices, inflation — rippled throughout the year across Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, the nation and the world.

And just when it appeared the U.S. had beaten back one nasty variant of the virus, another appeared on the scene to cloud questions heading into 2022. Among them:

  • Is last year’s Great Resignation destined to become this year’s Great Reshuffle?
  • Are hybrid workplaces here to stay as Dallas-area office tower occupancy hovers around 50% two years into the pandemic?
  • When will the knotted supply chain causing out-of-stock messages for shoppers get straightened out?
  • Does Texas retain its magnetic appeal as a site for corporate relocation and investment?
  • When will the hard-hit health care, aviation and hospitality industries see a return to pre-pandemic good times?

There was a clearly consistent theme to emerge in 2021: Never before were workers of all types so in demand. As millions of Americans exited the workforce entirely, it created a skilled workers’ market that gave them their pick of job openings.

Employers, take note: That’s not changing as we enter 2022.

Forty percent of Dallas workers will be looking for a new job in the first half of the new year, according to a survey in mid-December by staffing firm Robert Half. And those workers are so optimistic that 30% indicated they’d quit their current job without even having their next gig lined up.

Who’s likely to be looking? Robert Half’s survey says it’s Gen Z professionals (52%), workers who’ve been at a company for two to four years (49%) and technology staff (47%).

Why are they looking? Better pay, benefits and perks. Plus, the ability to permanently work remotely, the survey revealed. More than half of Dallas workers said they’re interested in fully remote jobs, even if it means moving to a different company in a different city or state.

So the talent war will only intensify this year for all of the companies desperately looking to hire, like Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and the region’s legion of restaurants, hotels and other service businesses.

That’s the easy-to-see prediction floating to the top of our crystal ball.

Here are other best-guess scenarios to some of the key questions facing D-FW’s economy and most vital industries and companies.

From Mitch Schnurman:

Will Dallas-Fort Worth’s great jobs machine keep cranking next year?

From Steve Brown:

Will Dallas-Fort Worth’s real estate market keep its hot run alive?

From Dom DiFurio:

Will Dallas-Fort Worth capitalize on its full relocation pipeline?

From Kyle Arnold:

Will airline hiring keep pace with travel demand and prevent new meltdowns?

From Maria Halkias:

Will H-E-B’s Frisco and Plano store openings upset the grocery cart? and

How long will supply chain issues persist in the new year?

From Natalie Walters:

Will the money gusher continue flowing into IPOs, SPACs and deals in the new year?

From Marin Wolf:

Will hospital staffing be sufficient to deal with the next COVID variant surge?

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