January '19

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Page 176 of 187

rv-pro.com January 2019 • RV PRO • 167 companies be hurt more than expected, but an erosion in business confidence due to heightened uncertainty would weigh on spending decisions." A related issue involves Chinese tariffs placed on U.S. imports, boosting costs to Chinese consumers and industries, according to Manzella. "Chinese importers are reacting by looking for alternative sources from other countries," he says. "A major fear is that the Chinese may just stick with those alternative sources even after the trade war is minimized." Retailers largely share the concerns of general businesses. "For retailers, tariffs are the monkey wrench that everyone is trying to figure out how to deal with," says Bob Phibbs, a retail consultant based in Coxsackie, N.Y. "They will affect margins and ultimately consumers will pay for them." Here are some other potential problems peeking over the horizon, for businesses of all stripes: • Labor shortage. "The labor shortage and skills deficit are major issues for businesses," says Manzella. "If you can't find the employees you need, you can't grow your business. And if you have to go where the skills are, that might mean moving overseas." Palisin concurs. "In our survey, about 70 percent of manufacturers plan to increase employment next year, but over 90 percent have had difficulty hiring enough skilled trades. They are especially concerned about what's called 'the silver tsunami,' in which Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce, taking their skills and knowledge with them. At the same time not as many young people are going into skilled trades." In response to the talent shortage, manufacturers are increasing work hours for their current employees, introducing more automation, and running apprenticeship training pro- grams to build workforce pipelines within their companies. "All this will help, but it won't solve the problem," Palisin says. "That's why many companies are being proactive in promoting manufacturing careers in their local school districts." • Wage hikes. It's the negative result of low unemployment: Higher labor costs. "With the economy chugging along as it is and unem- ployment lower, employers may need to raise wages to attract enough people," says Hoyt. That can crimp profits. • Rising interest rates. Higher costs continued on page 169 LONG RANGE, HIGH PERFORMANCE 4G LTE + WIFI EXTENDERS FOR RV Winegard ® ConnecT ™ 2.0 WINEGARD Data Plans US ONLY Plan – 10 GB for $ 65 US and Canada Plans available S E C U R E S I M P L E I N T E R N E T ANYWHERE T h e O N L Y R V D e v i c e C e r t i f i e d b y A T&T a n d Ve r i z o n M a x i m u m D a t a F l e x i b i l i t y Connect with a Winegard data plan (30-day, no contract plans with no throttling) Swap SIM card to add to new or existing data plans from other carriers (visit www.winegard. com/connect for compatible carriers) – O R – www.winegard.com/connect © 2019 Winegard Co. Easily Connect Multiple Devices Through Secure personal Hotspot Maximizes Speed & Range NATIONWIDE 4G LTE COVERAGE WITH 4G VERSIONS SECURE PERSONAL CONNECTION SIMPLE TO SCAN AND FIND NETWORKS INCREASED RANGE FOR WIFI AND 4G LTE SIGNALS Nationwide 4G LTE Coverage with 4G Models

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