PA Chamber’s 28th Economic Survey

Despite record confidence, concerns over skills gap, healthcare and state tax structure continue to burden employees.

Employers are reporting record high confidence in the state’s business climate, and are making investments in their facilities and workers that reflect this optimism. However, a job skills gap was listed for the first time as the biggest hurdle facing their business, and ongoing concerns about the state’s tax structure and rising healthcare rates still create barriers to economic opportunity.  These indicators are among the responses from the PA Chamber’s 28th Annual Economic Survey, which was conducted in August 2018 by Susquehanna Polling and Research, a Harrisburg-based public opinion polling company.

According to the survey of 650 employers, job creators listed difficulties finding skilled and qualified employees to fill open positions as the biggest problems facing their companies.  This represents a stark increase over last year and has officially reached a record high as business owners’ overriding issue.

Perhaps most importantly, concern about finding qualified applicants now trumps other traditional pocketbook issues usually “top of mind” to employers, such as concern about taxes (down to 8%), health care insurance (down to 7%) and excessive mandates and regulations (at 6%).

To review the 28th Annual Economic Survey, visit the PA Chamber’s website link pachamber.org/assets/pdf/annual_economic_survey_2018.pdf

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s January 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.