Nebraska businesses continue to have a very optimistic outlook for sales and employment over the next six months, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Although overall responses weren’t quite as high as the record levels reported for April, the May Survey of Nebraska Business showed particularly strong expectations for job growth, said UNL economist Eric Thompson, the bureau’s director.
Twenty-three percent of respondents expected to add employees in the next six months. Only 5 percent said they expected to reduce employment.
Thompson said the outlook for job growth is among the strongest ever recorded since the bureau began conducting its business survey in September 2011.
Thirty-five percent of businesses expected sales to increase, compared to 22 percent who predicted a decline in sales.
“This optimism continues to suggest strong growth in the Nebraska economy during the second half of 2015,” Thompson said.
Customer demand was the most common business concern, cited by 31 percent of respondents. The quality and availability of labor was cited second most often, chosen by 14 percent of respondents. Thompson noted that there was also significant concern about public policy issues with 11 percent of respondents choosing government regulation as their top concern and 9 percent choosing taxes, in particular property taxes.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. In May, 181 businesses responded, for a response rate of 36 percent.
For more information, the full survey report is available on the Bureau of Business Research website, http://www.bbr.unl.edu.