CBIA: Growing workforce shortage, high taxes, top obstacles for IT companies
Connecticut’s growing labor shortage, high taxes and the cost of living are the main obstacles to the state’s economic recovery, according to a new survey.
The 2021 Connecticut Business Survey, produced by the CBIA and accounting and business consulting firm Marcum LLP, identifies a number of factors that make it difficult for most employers to recruit and retain employees despite high vaccination rates in the workplace and in the state.
The main findings include:
- 80% of employers say they have difficulty finding and retaining employees and 35% say labor shortage is the biggest obstacle to growth
- 33% of companies expect their workforce to increase in the next six months, a 13 point jump from last year
- Almost two-thirds (64%) of companies reported profits in 2020, up from 77% in 2019
- About two-thirds (67%) of companies surveyed expect a profitable 2021, with just 8% predicting losses
- 43% of respondents see their business growing, up from 25% last year and the highest percentage since 2018
- The economic outlook is more optimistic than last year. 39% expect Connecticut economy to grow, 53% forecast national growth
- 66% of employers say at least 75% of employees are fully immunized
- 88% of businesses applied for a Federal Paycheck Protection Program loan and 20% for other loans or grants from the US Small Business Administration
CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima said the poll shows cautious optimism among Connecticut employers, despite a number of challenges.
“There are many reasons to be optimistic about Connecticut’s economic recovery,” said DiPentima. “Addressing key growth challenges, including labor shortages and affordability, will allow us to rebuild an economy with opportunity for all. “
DiPentima said the survey responses highlighted the significant difficulties employers face in finding workers, challenges that are also reflected in the state’s employment data.
Ethan Brysgel, national manager of financial accounting and advisory services at Marcum, noted that recruitment, retention and training dominated respondents’ investment priorities.
“Connecticut companies cite employee retention as their biggest area of investment in 2021,” Brysgel said. “This should go a long way in reducing the labor shortage in the state. “
Michael Brooder, managing partner of Marcum’s Hartford office, said that while companies focused on survival last year, they are now looking to the future.
“This year’s survey highlights the opportunities we have to get people back to work and rebuild our economy if policymakers focus on the challenges of recovery,” he said.
The CBIA emailed and emailed the 2021 Connecticut Business Survey to more than 3,000 senior executives in the state from August 4 to September 8.
The majority of the companies questioned are small companies: 82% employ less than 50 people, 9% employ 50 to 100 people, 6% between 100 and 249, 2% 250 to 499, while 1% of the respondents employ more than 500 people .
The response rate to the survey was 20.4%, with a margin of error of +/- 1.4%.