Bill Murphey's predictions for 2017...

Dec 13, 2016

1. The competition for skilled labor will increase. This will lead to more employee turnover, higher wages, and an uptick in inflation. The unemployment rate will remain near 5 percent nationally, but the number of Americans not in the workforce will decrease by 4 percent.

2. A new communication device will debut in late 2017 that will challenge the current smart phone industry.

3. Trade school applications will increase. The pairing of the prohibitively high cost of a college education with American infrastructure investments will drive renewed interest in the trades.

4. Americans will begin to use their smart phones to actually talk with other humans (the horror!). The rising Generation Z will lead this change by stressing the value of real, personal relationships.

5. The ubiquitous “free shipping” of consumer goods will be curtailed as e-commerce retailers look to increase their profits to cover their higher labor costs.

6. Facebook will be relegated to “grandparents looking at their grandkids’ pictures” and will be abandoned for a new social media platform. Marketers will have to adjust to the new technology.

Bill Murphey is Zweig Group's director of education.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.