How Technology Can Help The Economy Recover

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In February 2020, COVID-19 brought the U.S. economy to a standstill — BUT, the current economic crisis is different from those of the past

The Coronavirus Economy

  • In April 2020, U.S. unemployment reached an all-time high, at 14.7%
    • 43 states have record-high unemployment
    • In some states, as many as 1 in 4 people are out of work
  • On June 8, 2020, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced that the U.S. is officially in a recession
  • Some Economic Changes Are Here To Stay
    • Before the outbreak, 29% of college graduates worked from home*
    • In the midst of the pandemic, 
      • 2 in 3 Americans work remotely
      • 3 in 5  wish to continue after the pandemic
    • In March remote job listings grew by 769%
  • Tech For Remote Work Continues To Be In Demand
    • Home office tech sales are increasing
      • Chromebooks: +400%
      • Webcams: +179%
      • Monitors: +138%
      • Headsets: +134%
      • Keyboards: +64%
  • Online collaboration and video conferencing tools
    • Google Meet: 30X increase in daily users
    • G Suite: +1 million paying businesses in February alone
    • Zoom: +190 million daily users over just 3 months 

Microsoft & Apple gots their start during the Oil Crisis Recession of the 1970s — Today, it’s they’re the 2 largest company in the United States

Tech Innovation & The Economy

  • Tough economic times often give rise to creativity and innovation
    • The Great Depression brought inventions like
      • Electric razors
      • Car radios
      • Chocolate chip cookies
      • Monopoly
  • The Great Recession gave rise to companies including

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    • AirBnB
    • Warby Parker
    • WhatsApp
    • Venmo
    • Groupon
    • Instagram
    • Uber
    • Pinterest
    • Slack
    • Square
    • And more
  • Established companies must innovate to get through economic crises
    • 2000: Netflix nearly sold to Blockbuster, but rebounded as a pioneer in streaming
    • 2001: Apple launched the first iPod in the wake of the dot-com crash and 9/11
  • 2009: Mailchimp went freemium and grew 5X in the midst of the Great Recession

As companies realize the long term potential of remote work, workers will gain greater access to jobs and companies will have access to a wider pool of talent

Why Big Tech Thrives — Even In A Recession

  • Tech companies aren’t immune to economic downturns — but they have an advantage
    • Hardship creates opportunities for innovation and disruptive tech
    • Those that can increase research and development efforts
    • As a result, tech is poised to offer new products and services as soon as people are willing and able to buy again — and help to spur new economic growth
  • What Innovations Will Help The Post-COVID Economy?
    • 5G infrastructure is expected to have a strong nationwide footing by 2022 — bringing new possibilities for tech products
    • Augmented and virtual reality are on the brink of mainstream adoption — and will continue to grow as more people stay home
    • New innovations in telemedicine and medical tech help to combat the virus — and many will continue after the crisis is over
    • Increase in remote work and school will continue to heighten demand for reliable, universal internet access
  • What Will Recovery Look Like?
  • The current economic crisis is not the result of structural problems but due to a health crisis — and that may make for a quicker recovery 
    • In  May 2020, 21.0 million Americans were unemployed — Just 2.3 million had permanently lost their jobs
      • Many employees will return to work so long as their employers survive the shutdown
    • Everyone knows the cause of the current crisis — Removing the uncertainty of past recessions
      • When business reopens, many will return to normal without the extreme caution of past recoveries
    • The most financially vulnerable have been hardest hit with many facing new debts, lost wealth, and other struggles
  • Many forecasters said they expect economic output to begin growing again in the third quarter — followed by an enormous jump in economic growth in early 2021
  • Recovery Will Be Fueled By Remote Work
  • COVID-19 hit hardest in cities with dense populations
  • In the short term remote work 
    • Enables social distancing
    • Makes contact tracing easier
    • Eases childcare needs while schools are closed
  • As remote work, technology, and internet access continue to develop
    • Workers will have the option to leave large cities, escaping the high cost-of-living and bolstering small-town economies in the process

The key to economic recovery is redefining work as what we do, not where we do it

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