Insights into the Middle Market

Croixstone is laser focused on providing expertise to serve the middle market, defined as those companies with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.  The National Center for the Middle Market recently published new data and insights on this important sector of the economy that we found interesting.

  • While representing barely 3% of all U.S. businesses, the middle market is responsible for 1/3 of private sector GDP and employment.
  • If the U.S. middle market were its own country, it would be the fifth-largest economy in the world.
  • During the pre-pandemic era from 2012-2019, average revenue growth for midsize companies was 6.5% and average employment growth was 4.3%.
  • A Q4 2020 middle market survey showed that average revenue declined by 1.2% and employment dropped by 2.2% over the prior 12 months.
  • While the pandemic negatively impacted the middle market, the sector overall performed better than small businesses and large corporations.
  • Middle market companies are typically very resilient, however, the ongoing pandemic presents a serious challenge on how to maintain customer engagement and connectivity. 

Learn more here.


In-Demand Skills

LinkedIn has used data from more than 660 million professionals in its network and more than 20 million job listings to identify the hard and soft skills that are most in-demand in 2020.

HARD SKILLS

1) Blockchain
2) Cloud & Distributed Computing
3) Analytical Reasoning
4) Artificial Intelligence
5) UX Design
6) Business Analysis
7) Affiliate Marketing
8) Sales
9) Scientific Computing
10) Video Production

SOFT SKILLS

1) Creativity
2) Persuasion
3) Collaboration
4) Adaptability
5) Emotional Intelligence

Learn more here.



So How Is The Labor Market Looking?

Given our connectivity with middle market and large corporations across the greater Charlotte region, the Croixstone team is asked this question almost every day.

Our answer?  It’s simple.
The story varies greatly based on education level attained.

As of May 2020, the unemployment rate for those with a Bachelors degree or higher was significantly lower than the 15.0% rate for high school graduates with no college degree:

  • Bachelors Degree:  8.4%
  • Masters Degree:  5.6%
  • Professional Degree:  5.9%
  • Doctoral Degree:  3.5% 

Keep in mind that economists have long believed that the overall economy is at “full employment” at a rate of around 5%.

Based on our understanding of these rates and ongoing discussions with c-suite leaders, the Croixstone team believes ample career opportunities continue to exist for highly-educated professionals in today’s workforce.

That said, the market is certainly more competitive in 2020 than the past several years.  For that reason, professionals in career transition mode are wise to focus on their personal branding and professional networking strategies to ensure a competitive edge. 


The NOW Normal.

Life has changed dramatically for all of us in the Charlotte region over the past couple of weeks.  Given the vast uncertainties we’re facing with COVID-19 and the economy, the Croixstone team isn’t quite ready to call these times the “new” normal.  We prefer to think of our current state as the “now’ normal.  

Whether you are presently employed or seeking your next opportunity, COVID-19 is causing all of us to think, and act, differently. The following links are designed to help you navigate the “now” normal.

Learn about consulting.
Join Croixstone + the Charlotte Chapter of the National Black MBA Association for a virtual Zoom meeting/webinar on “The Business of Consulting.”  Joining us will be leaders from Deloitte, The Kaleidoscope Group + The Graybeard Partners.  Wednesday, April 8 from 6-7:3pm.
Grab your tickets here.

Learn how consulting revenues may be impacted by COVID-19.
Yes, the consulting industry is being impacted.  Source Global Research has surveyed hundreds of consulting firms from across the world to gain insights.
Click here.

Find a job.
Your best strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic might be to focus on short-term solutions.
View this Fast Company article to learn more.

Learn more about collaboration tools.
Inc. magazine has compiled a comprehensive list of tools including pricing.
Click here.

Learn how to stay productive + connected while at home.
LinkedIn is offering 16 free professional development courses on Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom and more.
Click here.

Learn Zoom basics.
Zoom experts host interactive, live training webinars daily.
Sign-up for free or watch a previously recorded training session.
Click here.

Take your Zoom skills to the next level.
Learn 13 Zoom video chat tips, tricks + hidden features.
Click here.

Learn how to run a virtual meeting.
An executive recruiter shares 8 cardinal rules for successful virtual meetings with Forbes.
Click here.

Access a library of COVID-19 resources.
Check out the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s “COVID-19 Resource Portal.”
Click here.

Learn how to lead during a crisis/downturn.
5 great tips from Chief Executive magazine.
Click here.

Find your right work-from-home playlist.
LinkedIn is now on Spotify with a variety of playlists curated for the varying times of your career journey.
Click here.



Older Workers are in Demand

The norms about working at older ages have changed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy gained over 2 million jobs over the past 12 months.  The number of employed workers age 65 or older rose by 697,000 – about 36% of the total gain.

Both of Croixstone’s practices (Consulting and Solutions) are dedicated to representing only highly-experienced professionals.  Given our own firm’s growth, we are not surprised that older workers are accounting for a significant proportion of job growth.

Learn more.


Online MBA Programs

Croixstone has built its practice around a group of elite, senior level top-tier MBA consulting professionals who thrive on tackling the toughest industry challenges to help propel businesses forward.

Recently, Forbes released a list of MBA programs they say are just as good or better than those ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Click here to read more.