Hiring Plans for Michigan Businesses Peak

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The number of small and medium-size businesses planning to hire is at all-time high since the semi-annual Michigan Future Business Index first began surveying business executives in 2006. Meantime, the number of companies planning layoffs is at an all-time low.

The semi-annual report — which surveyed more than 600 business executives from Michigan companies with fewer than 500 employees — found more than one third of respondents plan to hire additional employees in the next six months. Only 13 percent planned to do so in January 2010.

“Michigan businesses have once again demonstrated their resilience in overcoming tough economic challenges to keep our state moving forward,” says Chris Holman, CEO of the Michigan Business Network. “These businesses are the backbone of Michigan’s economic growth and progress, and I am proud of their commitment to building a strong future.”

New job opportunities are most abundant in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula (where 47 percent plan to hire new employees), but also strong in all regions with the exception of Flint, Bay City, and Saginaw, where only 21 percent of businesses plan to make new hires. Only 6 percent of respondents expect layoffs in the next six months, a new low for the history of the study.

With a growing need for talent, however, comes the challenge of finding qualified employees. When citing the challenges that garner the most concern at their business, 17 percent said they struggle with securing qualified talent to fill open positions.

As one respondent noted, “the level of dependability and commitment in the majority of those who are applying for the jobs does not even begin to meet the most basic requirements (for the job openings).”

Other top concerns include uncertainty related to health care (10 percent); government regulations and interference (9 percent); expanding, managing growth, and finding new business (9 percent); and concerns over the state of the economy (8 percent).

Overall, survey respondents were positive about Michigan’s economy, with satisfaction (62 percent) outpacing dissatisfaction (34 percent).

To read the full report, click here.

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