The pandemic caused the unemployment rate across the Greater Houston area to skyrocket in 2020, but the rate recovered closer to prepandemic levels in 2021. RATE ROLLER COASTER Unemployment rates from 2012-22 League City Houston
Looking ahead While staffing shortages and the access to supply lines are unfavor- able, they are parts of the growing pains the economy is facing as it bounces back. Jankowski said he believes the economy has made an outstanding recovery. The GHP reported about 316,700 of the region’s 361,400 jobs lost had been recovered as of the end of 2021. “No one thought the economy would rebound as strong as it has,” Jankowski. “A year and a half ago, when we talked about the recovery, people talked about it looking like a hockey stick—sharp drop and a slow, gradual increase; it looks like it’s been more like a check mark.” All the while, businesses are facing higher operating costs and are start- ing to have to divert some of that burden on the customers. This can be seen in price increases of certain items or limits on menu options as the availability of certain goods var- ies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of Tools, hardware, outdoor equipment and supplies increased 11.2% from April 2021 to April 2022. Moving forward, Jankowski pre- dicted the community will not see
independently owned and -operated stores. McCalla, the owner of a Clear Lake-based branch as well as a Hous- ton branch of the franchise, said she has had issues getting supplies out of China due to tightened COVID-19 restrictions. “There are several cities in China that are still under lockdown from the new wave of COVID and then get- ting the product over here,” McCalla said. “It all just kind of impacts and adds to a potential problem.” McCalla said that she was not very surprised by the issue and has been able to plan ahead for it. With certain items not being immediately available, businesses have had to pivot. Fully Promoted found a specific type of hat was in high demand that McCalla said has been on backorder for quite some time, preventing her from getting it. “Specific brands have been on backorder for quite a while, but we have a number of alternatives that our clients actually ended up liking more, and they are available; we’re able to get them in there,” McCalla said. “Most of our vendors are larger companies, and so they actually anticipated it by bulking up on their inventory.”
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022*
*RATE FOR JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH SOURCE: TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION TEXAS LABOR MARKET/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Years
the same exponential growth seen in 2021, and businesses such as Fully Promoted will continue to implement their pandemic changes for the sake of their customers and employees. “They’re simply going to go and do what it takes to keep the doors open,” Jankowski said. “So the small
business by nature tends to be what the small business lacks in finan- cial wealth with all the makeup for nimbleness.”
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BAY AREA EDITION • MAY 2022
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