MADISON ó While Wisconsinís
economy remains strong and the state has low unemployment, a survey
by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce found that state business
leaders are less optimistic heading into 2019 than one year ago.
The results showed that 84 percent of the 203 business executives
surveyed in December rate the Wisconsin economy as strong or very
strong, up from 80 percent in June and 70 percent a year ago.
Eighty-one percent rate the U.S. economy as strong or very strong,
which is unchanged from six months ago.
WMC reported that survey respondents said they like the direction of
the U.S. economy but have some concerns about tariffs, health care
and labor availability. Eighty-three percent said the U.S. is headed
in the right direction, down from 86 percent in June.
According to the survey, 55 percent of respondents plan to hire in
the next six months, down from 60 percent six months ago.
Seventy-four percent say they canít find workers, down from 76
percent in June and 80 percent a year ago.
People who responded to the survey were less optimistic about the
stateís economic growth. Six months ago, the survey found that 21
percent of the respondents said the Wisconsin economy will see good
growth. That number dropped to 14 percent with this monthís survey,
with 57 percent saying growth will be moderate and 22 percent saying
it will be flat, exactly the same percentages as six month ago.
Of the top concerns for business leaders, the labor shortage is
number one with 50 percent of respondents ranking it highest. Heath
care is again the number two concern (18 percent) and high taxes is
third (9 percent).