Business owners concerned lack of skilled workers will hobble growth

Business owners are optimistic and eager to grow, according to the annual JPMorgan Chase Business Leaders Outlook report released today.

The survey found that 51 percent are optimistic about the global economy (up 10 points from last year),
63 percent are optimistic about the national economy (consistent with last year), and 60 percent are optimistic about their local economy (up 5 points from last year).

“This trending positivity is confirmation that something real is happening in the economy,” said Jim Glassman, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase. “Business optimism translates to business activity, which is why we’re seeing increased expectations across the board. For businesses that can hire and retain talent in today’s tight labor market, there are growth opportunities to capitalize on.”

Finding talented workers, however, could prove a barrier for some businesses. Forty-five percent of midsize business executives and 31 percent of small business executives are “extremely or very concerned” about the lack of qualified candidates, according to the survey.

The most common reasons listed for the talent shortage include the lack of applicants, a lack of unique skills needed, and applicants’ work ethic.

The 2018 JPMorgan Chase Business Leaders Outlook survey got responses from 1,685 executives of midsize companies (annual revenue of $20 million to $500 million) and 955 small business leaders ($100,000 to $20 million) in the United States.

More results are available here:

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