Ohio Chamber Research Foundation Releases First Quarter Prosperity Pulse

On May 10, 2017, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation released the findings of the first quarter (Q1) business leader’s survey. The findings reveal the statewide Prosperity Pulse reading of 5.0 which means the economic health of the state is steady. However, projections for Q2 indicate a strengthening Prosperity Pulse of 5.4.

Over 400 business leaders state wide were surveyed by the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation over the last few weeks. The intent was to evaluate the economic health of companies across the state with a representative sample of industry type, size and geographic location.

The Prosperity Pulse will be evaluated quarterly and is based on several factors:

  1. Profits
  2. Change in number of employees
  3. Capital Investments
  4. Expenses
  5. Overall business economic outlook

Each region was also given an individual Prosperity Pulse reading:

Northwest – 5.16
Southwest – 5.10
Northeast – 4.92
Southeast – 4.86
Central – 5.16

Good news for Ohio employment factors is that 60 percent of businesses surveyed in Q1 had no change in the number of employees and 27 percent increased their workforce. In addition, their projections for Q2 tell a more positive story: 60 percent plan to stay at the same number of employees while 32 percent plan to increase their workforce. Also noteworthy, Northwest Ohio business leaders are more satisfied with their employee productivity than any other region in the state and manufacturing and transportation/warehousing are amongst the top industries also very pleased with their employees productivity.

Business leaders were also asked about their concern level on a variety of issues. Seventy percent of Ohio business leaders are concerned with the cost of health care.

“It’s not surprising that health care costs are the top concern expressed by business leaders in the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation survey, nor is it difficult to understand why,” said Keith Lake, Research Foundation director and vice president of government affairs for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance have doubled over the past decade, and the cost increases usually far exceed overall inflation. Managing these costs is a challenge for every business that provides this benefit to its employees.”

Statewide the top concerns of all businesses collectively are:

  1. The cost of healthcare was among the top concern along
  2. The cost of all employee benefits
  3. Attracting/hiring qualified employees
  4. Regulations or interference from the Federal government
  5. Regulations or interference from the State government

Stay tuned for more findings from the Prosperity Pulse Quarter 1 results.