The local job outlook looks positive, according to the recently completed 2014 Stanislaus Economic Outlook Survey.
The survey is conducted annually by the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance.
Of the 129 local companies surveyed, 95.2 percent expect sales in 2014 to be equal to or better than 2013. The majority of companies, 57.1 percent of total respondents, expect an increase in sales in 2014.
Only 4.8 percent of businesses surveyed expect a decrease in sales in 2014. That’s down sharply from 2013, when half of businesses surveyed expected sales to decline.
These positive sales outlooks could lead to more new jobs. More than a third of surveyed companies said they expect their workforce to increase this year, while only 6.3 percent expect a decrease in employees.
That doesn’t mean the report was all positive. Business owners and managers fear health insurance changes under Obamacare will restrict profitability and growth. Of those companies surveyed, 39 percent are concerned about health insurance – up 12 percent from 2013’s 27 percent.
However, health insurance was the only concern to notably increase from 2013. Concerns about the economy and competition noticeably declined from a year ago.
With positive results coming from the survey, the Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance plans to continue its focus on supporting existing industry and local businesses.
“I call this one the ‘barbecue analogy,’” said Alliance CEO David White. “ I don't know about you, but I love to barbecue. The steak we put on the grill represents local industry. It is the meat of what we do. We need to take good care of it. The seasoning we put on the steak represents our business recruitment strategy. It accentuates and complements the meat.”
For full results from the 2014 Stanislaus Economic Outlook Survey, click here.