Wage Growth, Skilled Labor Shortage Define First Quarter

By Chemical Processing Staff

Apr 27, 2018

The NABE (National Association for Business Economics) Business Conditions Survey for April shows continued increases in sales and healthy profit margins, but also suggests that gains in profit margins slowed during the first quarter of 2018 as material costs and wages increased, according to NABE Business Conditions Survey Chair Sara Rutledge, independent real estate economist. Growth in the overall economy remains overwhelmingly positive and more upbeat than a year ago, says Rutledge, while labor market conditions are increasingly tight. 

“When questioned about the impact of recent policy changes, about two-thirds of panelists indicate their firms are not adjusting hiring and investment plans after the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the introduction of steel and aluminum tariffs,” says Rutledge.  She adds, “April survey results suggest widespread wage growth and increasing shortages of skilled labor.”

The April 2018 NABE Business Conditions Survey report presents the responses of 107 NABE members to a survey on business conditions in their firms or industries conducted between March 22 and April 3, 2018, and reflects first-quarter results and the near-term outlook.

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