(The Center Square) – Eighty-eight percent of Iowa Business Council leaders said attracting a quality workforce is their foremost concern for the next six months, according to survey results published Tuesday. That translates to approximately 18 of the IBC’s 20 members.
The Iowa Business Council’s second-quarter Economic Outlook Survey measures member expectations for sales, capital spending and employment for the upcoming six months. Index measures above 50 are positive.
This quarter’s survey’s index was 63.88. That’s the eighth quarter in a row the score has been positive, but index numbers dropped in most categories.
“Iowa companies remain optimistic but are clear about the challenges that lie ahead in the coming months,” President & CEO of Pella Corporation and Chair of the Iowa Business Council Tim Yaggi said in the release. “Over the last two years, our member companies have proven they are resilient to national and international pressures. Business leaders are managing through inflation, supply chain issues and workforce challenges, but expect stable demand.”
Sales expectations decreased 4.46 points, to 65.27, from the first quarter’s findings. Capital spending expectations increased 2.19 points to 66.66. The employment index dropped 3.43 points, to 59.72.
Seventy-two percent of respondents said hiring is difficult or very difficult. Members said there are more than 11,000 current job openings in Iowa.
An “unfavorable business climate (supply chain issues, infrastructure, regulations, taxes)” was the second highest concern (72 percent).
Two-thirds of respondents said cost of products and service inputs was a primary business challenge.
Eighty-three percent of respondents said they don’t expect supply chain conditions to change in the next six months. Eleven percent said they’re expecting improvements.
“As sales expectations decline and capital spending projections increase, it is no surprise that the overall index score has dropped,” Iowa Business Council Executive Director Joe Murphy said. “However, our members continue to believe in Iowa’s economic fortitude. Over the next six months, company leaders will be taking all the necessary steps to prepare for potential uncertainties that may lie ahead.”
The council began its quarterly survey in 2004. Past survey results are here.
IBC companies are involved in all Iowa counties.