Date of this Version
Summary: Respondents to the September 2014 Survey of Nebraska Business are far less optimistic about sales and employment than in recent months. The overall outlook is mixed. More respondents expect to increase (9%) employment rather than reduce (7%) it over the next 6 months. However, more expect sales to fall (26%) than rise (23%). Within the state, respondents from the Omaha area and Central Nebraska are solidly optimistic in their outlook for sales and employment. By contrast, respondents from Northeast Nebraska and West Nebraska anticipate a decline in employment and sales. When asked about the most important issue facing their business, seven in ten Nebraska respondents focused on business operations issues such as customer demand, the cost of supplies, labor quality and availability, competition from other businesses and improved business practices. Customer demand was the top issue, named by nearly 29 percent of respondents. In particular, crop prices were a concern raised by a significant number of rural respondents involved in agriculture or related businesses. Labor availability was mentioned by 18 percent of respondents. Labor availability and quality has grown as a concern for business this year as the labor market has improved. Government regulation was the top issue named by 14 percent of respondents.