Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Business Survey: 2024 Outlook
By Taylor Hendrix, Workforce Insights Analyst
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is one of 12 Regional Federal Reserve Banks located across the country and concentrates on the Richmond, Baltimore, and Charlotte areas. Their mission is to serve the American public by fostering economic growth and stability. Every November, this agency conducts a study among businesses for their employment outlook for the upcoming year. Let’s look at their survey results.
For their latest data, it was reported that businesses plan to increase employment over the next year, citing high expected sales growth and overworked staff as their top reasons for expansion. However, businesses also reported difficulty finding workers with the necessary skills, which led to these businesses seeking alternate ways to fulfill their workforce needs. Only about 19 percent of businesses have reported no difficulty while hiring candidates.
Businesses that reported difficulty with hiring workers were asked what methods they have utilized to attract potential candidates. As one might expect, businesses reported the main strategy for attracting candidates was increasing compensation offered to new hires, followed closely by training and promoting from within the organization.
How Does This Apply To South Carolina?
DEW has partnered with the S.C. Chamber of Commerce on the Palmetto Business Barometer Survey, which is offered to private-sector businesses every month. The survey asks businesses to rank their average performance and if they have any concerns regarding financial stability, inflation, staffing levels, and other issues. Next, the survey asks businesses to analyze their past month in terms of revenue expectations, capital accessibility, and remote work. The survey caps off by asking businesses to look ahead at the next six months for any plans to modify wages, staffing levels, training, or other critical parameters.
The Palmetto Business Barometer results are consistent with the trends reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in November and show South Carolina businesses are growing. Forty-seven percent of businesses reported to us that they plan to increase their staff over the next six months. In terms of finding workers, 66 percent believe their ability to do so will remain the same while 28 percent believe it will be more difficult over the next six months. The gap in these data remained mostly on trend with previous months, although it has improved slightly over October, when 58 percent of business owners believed their ability to find qualified workers would remain the same and 36 percent believed it would be more difficult.