Business

Two-thirds of Iowa Business Council project higher sales

But almost 80 percent still see hiring as a hurdle

Some 67 percent of the members of the Iowa Business Council anticipate higher sales over the first six months of the new year, according to a new survey.

This comes at the same time as 78 percent still see recruiting and retaining employees as their No. 1 challenge.

The reason? Almost 39 percent cited an “unfavorable business climate,” 28 percent pointed to the cost of product and/or service inputs, and the same percentage — more than one-quarter of respondents — blamed the cost of health care insurance.

“We continue to hear how the state’s workforce shortage constrains growth not only for our members, but for businesses in every corner of our state” IBC Executive Director Georgia Van Gundy said in a news release.

“It is crucial that we remove barriers keeping Iowans from entering the workforce or up-skilling.”

Van Gundy noted IBC members’ support of the Future Ready Iowa initiative, which is intended to ensure 70 percent of Iowa workers have education or training beyond the high school level by 2025.

The quarterly survey, released on Thursday, also indicated IBC’s members to be evenly divided between spending more capital in the coming six months and spending less or no additional money at all.

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The 23 not-for-profit IBC member companies, which collectively employ one-sixth of Iowa’s workforce, includes Alliant Energy, Casey’s General Stores, Collins Aerospace, Deer and Co., Fareway and Hy-Vee.

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