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Despite Temporary Uncertainty, Ohio Businesses Plan to Keep Hiring

March 20, 2019

COLUMBUS, OH –The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation released the findings of its quarterly Prosperity Pulse business leader’s survey today.  The 4th quarter findings of 2018 reveal the following:

  • The statewide Prosperity Pulse measured at 103.5, a drop from the previous record high of 139.9.
  • A decrease in planned capital expenditures and in reported unfilled jobs revealed a sense of apprehension among business leaders.
  • The decrease can be attributed to the impact of the partial federal government shutdown, and uncertainty regarding potential future economic instability.
  • Nearly 71 percent of respondents still rated the economic climate as good to excellent.
  • All 100 percent of the companies surveyed plan to add employees in the 1st quarter of 2019.
  • Health care costs remain the top concern of Ohio business leaders.

Despite the hesitation that resulted from the 35-day impasse in Washington, Ohio small businesses indicated robust employment growth planned for the first quarter of 2019.  We surveyed over 400 business leaders in Ohio, with 98 percent representing firms of under 100 employees, and the results show more opportunities for Ohio job seekers are on the way, as every respondent planned to add to their headcounts. Southeast Ohio businesses are anticipating the greatest increase in opportunities, as 81 percent planned to add more than 25 new jobs in the first three months of 2019.

“As we saw with comparable national surveys, Ohio business leaders were unsure of what to make of the partial federal government shutdown and may have put new investments on hold,” stated Justin Barnes, executive director of the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation. “Nevertheless, businesses in Ohio believe things should rebalance in the first quarter, with the survey findings reflecting a continued sense of optimism and strong hiring plans.”

The Prosperity Pulse index is calculated using five forward looking factors: anticipated profits, anticipated hiring, open/available positions, anticipated capital expenditures and overall business economic outlook. The survey was conducted between January 28, 2018, and February 10, 2019, with over 400 responses received.

To view the report, click here.

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