How to Spot a Recovery in the (wine) Economy
How will we know when this maneuver occurs? When news like THIS stops appearing.
The Feds announced today that U.S. employers "shed a more-than-expected 85,000 jobs in December even as the
unemployment rate held at 10 percent. The rate would have been higher
if more people had been looking for work instead of leaving the labor
force because they can't find jobs."
Recently, folks have been asking me what I thought of the economic condition of the American wine industry and the American economy in general. Why they've been asking ME is a mystery. I'm a Wine PR dude, not an economist. But who cares about that?
What I've been telling them, and what I believe, is that the best gauge to look toward for signs of a general recovery from the Great Recession is the jobs report. Once the shedding of jobs is over that's when you can expect to see general recovery. And with general recovery, with businesses hiring, that's when we spend more. When we spend more, we also drink more. Another way to put it is this: If you are waiting for a sign that more people are getting liquored up on fine wine in order to divine a recovery of the economy, you will have missed the turning point. The turning point comes when the fine wine pushers are hiring more pushers.
Where to look for the hiring of more fine wine pushers? Look to the wholesale and retail sectors of the wine market. Wineries can generally maintain efficiency without hiring more people. However, wholesalers and retailers find it more difficult to ramp up without increasing the number of employees. If you want to look to the producer tier for signs of an economic recovery, look for signs that small to medium sized wineries are making increased investments in things like tanks, barrels, vineyards, infrastructure.