Optimism remains low, according to a March survey of 130 executives from manufacturing and distribution companies by Sikich LLP, a global company specializing in technology-enabled professional services. More than half of manufacturers (57%) rated their optimism about business prospects over the next six months at a seven or lower on a scale of one to 10. This is similar to the same time last year, when 53% of manufacturing leaders rated their optimism a seven or lower on a scale of one to 10. When asked about factors contributing to decreased optimism, the three main challenges cited were interest rates (36%), economic conditions (27%), and labor shortages (26%).
Half of manufacturers plan to increase their workforce within the next 12 months. Of those companies, two-thirds plan to increase their workforce by more than 5% and nearly 20% plan to increase their workforce by more than 10%. Manufacturers have had to increase wages to meet labor needs and support employees through an economic slump. More than half (53%) of manufacturers have increased wages by 5% to 8% in the past 12 months, and nearly one-quarter (22%) have increased wages by 9% or more.
This article originally appeared on prnewswire.com. Use this link to see the full article: Labor Still a Top Challenge for Manufacturers as Optimism Remains Low, Report Finds