Sixty nine percent of businesses responding to an ongoing survey of North Carolina businesses report they either met or exceeded their revenue expectations in the month of January, according to preliminary results from the state’s Business Pulse Survey. Looking ahead, forty six percent of businesses responding to the survey plan to raise wages in the next six months, with forty six percent also planning to increase their staffing levels.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce administers the Pulse survey, in partnership with the NCWorks Commission and myFutureNC, with the Duke Energy Foundation providing financial support for the initiative. The survey provides insights into the state of the economy and comes in the wake of rapid change brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Business leaders and policymakers interested in seeing results to all questions from the survey can now access the new Business Pulse Survey dashboard at analytics.nccommerce.com/pulse-survey/ .
“Data from the Business Pulse Survey helps inform business leaders where they stand in relation to their peers -- and is helping policymakers better understand the rapidly changing needs of the business community,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders, who is a member of both the NCWorks Commission and the myFutureNC Board of Directors. “The survey helps us better support the post-pandemic recovery for employers, jobseekers and communities.”
The Pulse survey includes input from a diverse set of businesses across the state, from very large major employers to local small businesses, with about half having fewer than 10 employees. The industry categories were also diverse, including Professional and Business Services, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Health Care, and Construction among other sectors.
According to other preliminary findings from January:
- Maintaining adequate staffing levels remains a common concern of businesses, with 64% of respondents mentioning this topic;
- About one quarter of the total hours worked were conducted remotely in January, up slightly from the level reported in December;
- With the Omicron coronavirus variant more present in January, more businesses mentioned concern for the health of customers and employees, up from 27% in December to 49% in January;
- 45% of respondents expect businesses conditions to improve in the next six months despite the tight labor market.
The Commerce Department encourages more businesses to join the Business Pulse Survey -- which involves answering a brief, three-minute survey each month. The department welcomes more participation to ensure business voices from all areas of the state and all business domains in the survey are represented.
Participants should be people in positions of leadership who make business decisions, especially those related to hiring, and can speak with authority on their organizations’ operational challenges. These can include business owners, CEOs, managers or human resources directors. Only one person from each business should take the survey. Participants must commit to completing the short survey once per month, for six months. That amount of data allows analysts to measure changes in conditions, attitudes and behaviors over time.
In addition to informing policymakers, results of the survey also benefit participating businesses by providing insights regarding conditions being seen by peer businesses and industries throughout the state.
Commerce’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division (LEAD) implements the Business Pulse Survey and analyzes the data to identify how conditions, needs and expectations are changing over time.
To join the survey, business representatives may visit nccommerce.com/pulse.