Wisconsin CEOs Predict Job Growth This Year

MADISON – Buoyed by an improving business climate, Wisconsin businesses – small, medium, and large – are predicting job creation at their companies in the next 12 months, according to two surveys conducted by WMC released Thursday.

“The surveys are a good indication that Wisconsin’s economy is coming back and that should mean more jobs for our families,” said Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO. “Employers of all sizes are starting to add employees and that is great news for our state. Wisconsin’s government is now widely seen as pro-business in the survey and that is fostering confidence among business executives.”

WMC completed two online economic outlook surveys in May. One survey was compiled from the WMC Board of Directors; and the other of WMC member CEOs. The WMC Economic Outlook Survey of WMC Directors provides a snapshot into the attitudes of the state’s largest employers, and the WMC member survey is conducted to provide insights into the attitudes of small, medium and large companies.

Last year, small- and medium-sized companies predicted job growth, but larger employers were less optimistic. This year, employers of all sizes are predicting job creation.

Fifty-three percent of WMC’s rank-and-file members say they will be adding jobs, and 57 percent of WMC board member companies say they will be adding jobs. Of the WMC Board respondents, 67 percent came from companies with 500 or more employees.

Overwhelmingly, the WMC Board and full membership identified Wisconsin’s high taxes as the top policy issue facing the state. Additionally, both surveys found continued concerns about the regulatory burden and the ongoing economic slowdown.

The CEOs surveyed were very optimistic about the direction of the state, and the improved business climate. CEOs predicted wage increases, mostly in the 2 to 4 percent range.

“Clearly, the business community is very impressed with the renewed commitment to tax relief, litigation relief, regulatory reform and spending restraints,” Bauer said. “And, it shows in the survey results.” Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature recently passed a series of tax cuts, regulatory reforms, litigation reforms, and collective bargaining reforms.

Some 88 percent of WMC members said Wisconsin is going in the right direction, up from 10 percent last year. And, 35 percent said Wisconsin is very pro-business, up from 1 percent last year. Some 44 percent said Wisconsin is somewhat pro-business, up from 6 percent last year.

Thirty-seven percent of WMC Directors said they will expand in Wisconsin in the next year or two, and 40 percent of the full membership will expand in state. That’s up from last year, too. Completing the survey online were 30 members of the WMC Board of Directors, and 193 of the nearly 1,100 CEOs who were sent the survey online.

Related Material:
WMC 2011 Economic Outlook Survey
WMC Economic Outlook Survey History

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kurt R. Bauer, (608) 258-3400

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