CBIA Survey: 85% of Employers Report Labor Shortages as CT Workforce Shrinks

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s 2022 survey of businesses found the state’s labor shortage is acute, quantifying anecdotal evidence that employers are struggling to find and retain workers. workers.

The survey comes at a time when the state’s financial health is better than it has been in decades, but questions remain about how it will overcome systemic challenges including inflation, disruptions supply chain, labor shortages and outdated infrastructure.

The study says there is “compelling data that Connecticut is more susceptible than many states to these pressures.”

The survey found that 85% of employers said they had difficulty finding and/or retaining employees, and 39% said a lack of qualified candidates was their biggest barrier to growth.

Twenty-nine percent of employers made their biggest investment in employee retention, up five percentage points from 2021.

Meanwhile, 34% of companies expected their workforce to increase over the next six months, up one percentage point from a year ago.

Inflation and the state’s relatively high cost of living were top concerns for many of those interviewed.

A third of companies (33%) said the high cost of living in the state was the top concern for employees and their families.

Eighty-nine percent of business leaders believed the cost of doing business in Connecticut was rising, while 50 percent said the state’s business climate was declining.

Just over two-thirds (68%) of companies reported profits in 2021, compared to 64% in 2020. Fewer companies, 65%, expected to see profits in 2022, but only 9% expected losses , according to the survey.

The outlook for Connecticut was slightly better than for the country as a whole. Only 26% of businesses surveyed saw Connecticut’s economy growing next year, while 20% expected GDP growth in the United States.

Forty-four percent of respondents expected sales to increase in 2022, up one percentage point from a year ago – the highest level since 2014.

Eighty-three percent of participants said they were affected by supply chain disruptions and more than half (56%) raised prices due to inflation.

Between February 2020 and August 2022, Connecticut’s labor force — the number of people working, plus those actively seeking work — fell 2.3% (down 45,100), accounting for 41% of losses. of the New England region, according to the survey.

Connecticut’s GDP grew 4.2% in 2021, which was the 36th fastest in the nation, but fell in the first quarter of 2022, contracting 1.4% as businesses struggled to meet demand of products and services amid labor shortages and the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE

Click here to see the full survey results.

Michael A. Bynum