FSBDC Survey: More than half of clients, former clients plan to hire in 2015

By Jeffrey Cassady - jcassady@uwf.edu

As reported here previously, recent research by staffing firm Manpower points to strong job creation over the next year in several Florida metro areas. Now a new survey conducted by the Florida SBDC Network suggests that many small and medium-sized firms throughout the state intend to add to their workforces this year.

More than half of firms that responded to the Florida SBDC Network’s annual client survey said they plan to hire workers in 2015. Roughly 56 percent of firms said they plan to increase the number of workers they employ either “moderately” or “substantially.”

“In May, Florida’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, compared to 6.5 percent for the same month last year and a high of 11.3 percent in 2010,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and State Director for the Florida SBDC Network. “Our research demonstrates that Florida small and medium-sized businesses are optimistic about the future. That’s good news for a state that is growing at nearly 800 new residents per day.”

help wantedThe Florida SBDC Network sends out surveys each year to gauge satisfaction and to determine the economic impact of SBDC consulting services over the previous year. New to this year’s survey was a question that asked current and former clients whether they plan to increase, decrease or keep the same number of employees in 2015. More than 2,400 clients responded to the question.

The report also found that about 41 percent of respondents plan to keep the size of their workforces the same. Fewer than 3 percent of respondents intend to shed staff in 2015, according to the survey.

Of business owners who said they plan to hire, approximately 47 percent – or 1,163 respondents – said they intend to increase their workforces moderately. Meanwhile, nearly 9 percent of respondents – 217 people – said they plan to increase their number of employees substantially.

The Florida SBDC Network will publish more findings from its annual survey here in the coming months.

Jeffrey Cassady is a writer for the Haas Center and Florida SBDC Network. He covers Florida business and economic issues.