CEOs 'cautiously optimistic,' poll finds
CAPITAL REGION Capital Region CEO’s expect a rise in their revenues and profits this year but are cautiously optimistic, according to a Siena Research Institute poll released Monday.
“Two years ago they thought the dam of prosperity was about to open, but after a disappointing 2012 and an improving 2013, they believe the cash register will ring, but not roar in 2014,” said Don Levy, Siena College’s research institute director.
CEO confidence across upstate New York increased from 88.9 last year to 94.6, just below the 100 mark where overall optimism and pessimism are balanced. A score of 200 would be fully optimistic.
Half of the 650 CEO’s of private-non-profit companies polled in the Capital Region, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse say they have a solid supply of local workers. But less than half say people they interviewed possess the skills needed for the job.
About 28 percent of CEO’s say they plan to increase their workforce this year, up by 1 percent compared to last year, while 35 percent of construction, engineering and manufacturing businesses say they plan to hire this year.
“With competition for jobs high and only one in four planning to hire, job searchers and job trainers should take this criticism as advice as they prepare for or head off to interviews,” Levy said.
Business leaders cite health care costs, taxes and economic conditions as concerning challenges, according to the poll. Nearly 70 percent of CEO’s believe the Affordable Care Act will have a negative impact on their business.
One in four CEO’s say governmental regulation is the single greatest challenge they face while growing their business in New York. Only 8 percent think the state government is doing a good job of creating a business climate where they can succeed.
“They see the road ahead as demanding but passable,” Levy said. “They remain committed to New York but in a candid moment, two-thirds say that if they had to do it all over again, they would locate their business someplace else.”