- With the Omicron wave on its downslope, we can now say the new variant managed only to moderate the pace of AV Sales growth. In January, the AV Sales Index (AVI-S) registered 56.9, almost identical to the rate observed while Omicron was rising in December. For comparison, the January 2021 AVI-S was at 52.0. Commenters confirmed the effect of omicron, with two specific business outcomes being further postponements of return to office and another dose of uncertainty about plans for live events. Also significant are supply chain issues. Commenters had a wide range of sentiments on this. Most didn’t mention them at all. For some, they’re an annoyance, where business happens on longer timelines but still in a welcome volume. For a few, they’re a significant hindrance impacting the bottom line. At AVIXA, we don’t anticipate the supply issues resolving quickly, but we believe things will generally improve throughout 2022. We warn that if demand spikes for certain solution areas—live events, for example—it will create supply shortages for that specific segment.
- In this month’s survey, we asked providers to share their expectations for 2022 revenues compared to 2021. Translating that into a predictive AVI-S, we get a value of 74.9. That reflects that 57.3% expect sales growth over 5%, and just 7.5% predict, a decrease of more than 5%. Even in a challenging moment for our industry, optimism abounds!
- Employment growth is in the offing too. 73% of providers expect to add new workers, against just 17% who do not (10% responded “Don’t know). 44% of end users are planning to add AV workers as well. Hiring could be a pain point for AV this year. With so many companies seeking to hire at once, placed against a backdrop of worker scarcity—especially in the US—it won’t be easy to find great candidates. Starting your search early is a good countermeasure, as it will give you time to recruit more candidates and help you get to the best options before your competitors do.
- Steadiness in sales extended to employment in January, as the AV employment index (AVI-E) measured 57.3. This was just over a point lower than the December AVI-E but well above what we saw at the start of 2021. The main takeaway for AV employment is that payrolls are steadily expanding. The AV payroll expansion occurred amidst a strong labor market in the U.S., as the January jobs report showed the addition of 467,000 jobs along with upward revisions for the November and December reports totaling 709,000 jobs. This one jobs report boosted numbers by almost 1.2 million! The labor market is recovering exceptionally well, which will continue to support workers looking for work and squeeze companies seeking to hire. That said, the report also offered good news on worker availability, as unemployment ticked up from 3.9% to 4.0%. That increase reflects more people rejoining the workforce, a welcome sign of economic normality.