Despite waning fears about the COVID-19 pandemic, three out of every four employers said they’ve struggled to find workers this past year, and many said they’re pessimistic about the year ahead, according to the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s 63rd annual Business Outlook Survey.
The organization also found that 28% of respondents said they plan to sell their business or cease operations due to the pandemic restrictions and cuts to both revenue and staffing. Some were more optimistic: 37% said they did not plan to make any changes and another 31% has adopted a wait-and-see attitude.
“[T]here is no question that the continued challenges are wearing down some business owners,” despite “incredible resolve” many have shown since the pandemic started, NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said in a Nov. 29 statement.
The survey found that 73% of the 601 business owners interviewed faced problems finding new workers. Many prospective workers – 57% – simply did not show up for their interviews, while 49% opted to stay unemployed and 46% canceled their interviews.
Of those three out of four businesses, 57% reported higher burn-out among current staff, 51% noted a loss in revenue and 50% said they reluctantly had to raise wages to lure in workers.
Seventy-two percent of New Jersey businesses raised wages this year and 73% expected to do so in 2022. Just 24% of employers did not offer a raise this year and 25% did not expect to do so next year.