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State Chamber Survey: Workforce Again Tops Business Concerns | KRVN Radio

State Chamber Survey: Workforce Again Tops Business Concerns

State Chamber Survey: Workforce Again Tops Business Concerns

Workforce quality, supply have topped business worries for five consecutive years of State Chamber survey

LINCOLN – Workforce quality and the availability of labor are again the top concerns of Nebraska’s business community and community leaders. That’s the finding of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2017 statewide business survey.

The survey was conducted this autumn as part of State Chamber’s 28 legislative forum presentations held in 25 communities. More than 1,500 Nebraskans attended the forums, including 35 of 49 state lawmakers. For more than 30 years, the Nebraska Chamber’s legislative forums have been a joint effort with local chambers of commerce across the state.

According to the Chamber’s survey results, nearly 36% of respondents said workforce was the top concern facing their business or organization. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the shortage of skilled or qualified labor has been the primary worry cited in the Nebraska Chamber’s survey.

Taxes and government regulations also scored high as primary challenges facing the business community, with nearly half of respondents indicating that either taxes or regulations were their top issue.

Other findings from this year’s Nebraska Chamber survey include:

When asked if their business were hiring today, nearly 60% of respondents said they would hire someone with a two-year degree or a certified skill. Another 31% said they would hire an individual with a four-year degree, while just 10% said someone with only a high school diploma.

Nearly 38% of respondents said that population loss or a shrinking workforce was the most pressing issue for their community. Another 28% said the loss of businesses or well-paying jobs was their biggest community concern.

Respondents were divided on how best to address workforce shortages and population loss. Just over 29% of respondents said that more housing was the best answer, while roughly 28% preferred more technical education/skills-based training for high schoolers and younger students. Another 26% said more well-paying jobs would be the best remedy, while 12% said more local internships for students.

When asked what issues Nebraska lawmakers should prioritize in 2018, almost 41% of respondents said policymakers should lower Nebraska’s state taxes. Another 24% said the Legislature’s primary focus should be reducing state spending. Fewer than 15% of respondents said they wanted to see state lawmakers attempt additional “tax shifting” by sending more state money to local governments in the hopes of lowering local taxes – a practice that has been tried and has failed multiple times in the past 50 years.

The State Chamber has proudly served as the voice of Nebraska’s business community since 1912.

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Below and attached is a summary of the results from the Nebraska Chamber’s 2017 business survey.

Business Survey Results – 2017

What is your business’ top concern right now?
35.76% ………………. Workforce quality/labor supply

27.98% ………………. Taxes (federal, state, local)

20.21% ………………. Regulations (federal and/or state)

7.58% ………………… Market conditions/Increased competition

5.75% ………………… Other (Included health care costs, housing, rural broadband)

2.72% ………………… Access to capital

Do you see future growth potential for your business/industry in Nebraska?
78.80% ………………… Yes

13.59% ……………….. Not Applicable

7.61% …………………. No

What change(s) could Nebraska’s state government make to help your business prosper?

Common responses: Reduce tax burden; minimize regulations; speed up permitting process; more workforce development; more skills-based education; housing development; more citizen engagement; lower income taxes; improve state tax incentives for new and existing businesses; more local incentives to encourage business growth; incentives for younger people to stay.
What is the top concern facing your community today?
37.82% ………………. Population loss and/or shrinking workforce.

27.64% ………………. Loss of businesses/well-paying jobs.

11.54% ……………….. Lack of civic participation.

23.00% ………………. Other (Responses included lack of skilled workers and available workers; housing availability; substance abuse; lack of new businesses; roads/infrastructure; internet access; lack of rental housing; local property taxes; lack of leadership locally.)

Which would best address workforce/population issues in your community?

29.48% ……… More housing options.

28.32% …..…. More technical education/skills-based training for junior high & high school students.

26.01% ……….. More well-paying jobs in our area.

12.72% ……… More local internships for college-aged & high school-aged students.

3.47% ……… Other (Responses included incentives for skills-based training/education; housing incentives.)

If your business were hiring today, which of the following would you seek?
31.25% ………. Someone with a four-year degree or higher.

30.68% ………. Someone with a two-year degree, with a particular emphasis on a trade.

27.84% ……….. Someone certified in a particular skill.

10.23% ……….. High school graduate.

In January, Nebraska lawmakers should prioritize …
40.67% ………. Reducing state tax burden.

24.00% ………. Cutting state government spending levels.

14.67% ………. Sending more state money to local governments (tax shift) in hopes of lowering local taxes.

1.30% ………… Increasing state government spending.

19.36% ………. Other (Responses included roads funding; K-12 school skills training funds; workforce and housing initiatives; reduce local government spending and growth; higher education; decrease regulatory burden; collection of online sales tax; rural economic development.)

For more information:             www.NEChamber.com

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