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From PA Chamber of Business & Industry Employer confidence is on the rise, but many business leaders are still hesitant to invest and hire. These indicators are among the responses from the PA Chamber’s 26th Annual Economic Survey, which was conducted by G. Terry Madonna Opinion Research from August through October 2016 and completed in partnership with the High Center at Elizabethtown College.
According to the survey, employers’ top concerns are taxes – with the state’s 9.99 percent Corporate Net Income Tax rate being listed as the greatest tax barrier to growth. Also high on the list are rising health insurance costs (61 percent of survey participants say health insurance premiums increased over the last year); lawsuit abuse and excessive environmental regulation. Another key area of concern was workforce, with only two in five survey respondents saying they thought the quality of the state’s workforce was “excellent” or “good” (an issue the PA Chamber is working to tackle through its new Start the Conversation Here workforce development initiative.)
“Certainly, the extreme premium hikes we’ve seen in the post-Obamacare marketplace are going to lead more businesses to reduce employee benefits or even drop insurance coverage for their workers,” PA Chamber President Gene Barr said in a press release announcing the survey results. “We will continue to advocate for increasing employer flexibility and eliminating costly mandates as we educate employers on how to achieve compliance and maximize their options.”