The No. 1 challenge for midsize businesses in 2019


Midsize businesses rank the limited supply of talent as their No. 1 challenge in the coming year, according to the JPMorgan Chase Business Leaders Outlook survey, which was released today.

About 54 percent of midsize businesses report being very or extremely concerned about limited talent, the report said. Small business are concerned about it too but to a lesser degree. About 28 percent of small business owners said they were very or extremely concerned about potential challenges related to a limited supply of candidates.

The Chase report reflects national opinions for business owners, but the worker shortage has been a local problem too. Louisville is said to have 30,000 unfilled jobs. The skills gap is especially concerning for the local manufacturing, construction and health care industries, as we've reported.

The Chase survey also said 66 percent of midsize companies and 36 percent of small businesses plan to hire more full-time personnel.

The survey was conducted online between Nov. 8 and Nov. 16 for small businesses (those with annual revenue between $100,000 and $20 million). And it was conducted from Nov. 8 to Nov. 21 for middle-market companies ($20 million to $500 million in annual revenue).

Here are other key statistics from the survey:

• 80 percent of midsize businesses plan to increase compensation in the next year; 41 percent of small businesses plan to do the same.

• 84 percent of midsize businesses and 74 percent of small businesses are optimistic about their company performance.

• The majority of businesses — 73 percent of midsize ones and 55 percent of small — remain optimistic about the national economy, though that’s down 16 points and 8 points from a year ago, respectively.


• Just 39 percent of midsize businesses and 38 percent of small businesses are optimistic about the global economic outlook for 2019, down 30 points and 13 points, respectively.

• Nearly all businesses — 91 percent of small and midsize companies — plan to maintain or increase their capital expenditures. About 81 percent of midsize companies expect their revenue/sales to increase in 2019, and 74 percent expect higher profits.

Click here to read the rest of this article