Third Quarter Small Business Index Survey Reveals Businesses Still Need a Skilled Workforce

By: Florida Chamber of Commerce

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (July 23, 2018) – Florida job creators continue to grow increasingly concerned about workforce quality, according to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey. This is the sixth quarter in a row in which employers are concerned about finding skilled workforce to meet open job demands.

Small businesses are also concerned about economic uncertainty – likely a signal that recent activities with tariffs and international trade are causing some concern. This is the second time economic uncertainty has been identified as a top concern this year.

On a more positive note, 31 percent of small businesses indicated confidence in the direction that Florida is taking to make Florida a better place for businesses—up from 21 percent last year.

 

“Florida now has a $1 trillion economy, which shows us Florida continues to create jobs and economic opportunity,” said DR. JERRY PARRISH, Chief Economist and Director of Research for the Florida Chamber Foundation.  “While Florida’s success should be celebrated, we have to be ready to meet future challenges. Businesses continue to tell us that in order to expand and to be more competitive, they need access to a talented workforce.  This quarter’s Small Business Index Survey indicates that Florida’s small businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about workforce quality. As we look to Florida’s future, we must continue to ensure that Florida’s economy is ready and able to create prosperity through high-paying jobs, remain globally competitive, and develop vibrant and sustainable communities.”

 

The Florida Chamber’s quarterly Small Business Index statewide survey shows small businesses are most concerned about:

  • Workforce quality (29 percent),
  • Economic uncertainty (14 percent)
  • Government regulations (9 percent),
  • Lawsuit abuse (9 percent),
  • Healthcare costs (6 percent),
  • Growth Management Issues (6 percent).

Of Florida small businesses, 45 percent of respondents expect to hire in the next six months, and 44 percent expect to make investments in plants or equipment- both good signs for continued expansion of Florida’s economy.

 

“The Florida Chamber’s third quarter Small Business Index Survey shows once again that workforce quality is the top concern for Florida’s small business community, with economic uncertainty ranking second,” said GLENDA HOOD, Chair of the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, and Founding Partner, triSect. “The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council looks forward to working with Florida’s small business community to identify and support solutions that will help address workforce concerns, as well as other challenges.”

 

About the Survey:

The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Index Survey was conducted electronically June 13, 2018 through July 13, 2018. 26 percent of respondents employ less than five employees, while 48 percent employ five to 49 employees. Click here to view the full report.

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