By: Brian Dowling
Roughly half of the 211 Connecticut manufacturers answering an industry survey say that at some point they have been invited to move some or all of their business to another state, a report released Monday said.
The Connecticut Manufacturing Industry Survey said 52 percent of those who participated in the survey reported being approached. The top five states wooing Connecticut companies were, in order, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Georgia, the survey said.
The survey — put out by the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut and a coalition of other business groups — listed the top reasons for considering a relocation or out of state expansion: government attitude, operating costs, and tax structure.
The most-cited reasons for staying: family in Connecticut, company founded in Connecticut, and the quality of the state’s workforce.
Those surveyed had a mixed view for the coming year. Nearly half — 48 percent — said they expected the economy to stay about the same for manufacturers; 31 percent predicted it would improve, and 21 percent predicted it would decline.
More than half said they expected sales to increase at least slightly.
Revenues increased last year for 56 percent of the manufacturers surveyed, stayed about the same for 24 percent, and decreased for 20 percent. Increases averaged 15 percent, the survey said, and decreases about 12 percent.
Seven in 10 manufacturers said their employment levels are equal to or more than they were in 2012, and half expected to have more employees in 2014 than they will have in 2013.
This optimism about hiring comes even as 78 percent said they have trouble finding qualified workers, the main reasons being special skills are needed for the positions and there’s a general lack of qualified applicants.
The online survey was administered between March 13 and April 20. Of the 1,265 invitations to participate, 211 surveys were completed and returned. For those returns, the report said, the sampling error was plus or minus 6.6 percent at a confidence level of 95 percent.