Labor shortages affect 85% of Connecticut businesses » CBIA

Labor shortages are holding back Connecticut’s economic recovery, with the state’s high cost of living a key factor, according to a new survey.

The 2022 Connecticut Enterprise Survey by the CBIA and accounting and consulting firm Marcum LLP found that 85% of employers had difficulty finding and retaining workers.

The survey, released today at The Connecticut Economy’s annual conference in Hartford, also showed that only 26% of businesses expect the state’s economy to grow next year.

Nearly a quarter (24%) say tax credits should be a top priority for the next governor and state legislature, while 22% said public spending and pension reforms are top issues.

Key Findings:

  • A third (33%) report that the state’s high cost of living was a major concern for employees and their families, while 20% cited taxes.
  • 89% of business leaders say the cost of doing business in Connecticut is rising, and 50% say the state’s business climate is deteriorating.
  • 83% of companies were hit by supply chain disruptions, and more than half (56%) raised prices due to inflation.
  • 29% of employers invest the most in employee retention, up five percentage points from 2021.
  • 34% expect their workforce to grow in the next six months, up one point from last year.
  • Just over two-thirds (68%) of companies reported earnings in 2021, up from 64% in 2020.
  • 44% predict sales growth in 2022, up one percentage point from last year and the highest since 2014.
  • Only 20% expect the US economy to grow next year

“Structural issues such as affordability and high taxes that derailed Connecticut’s recovery from the last recession remain real threats today.”

Chris DiPentima of CBIA

CBIA President and CEO Chris DiPentima said the survey confirmed the current economic data that policy makers need to consider to determine and implement solutions.

“Connecticut has 41% more job openings than before the pandemic, but we lost more than 45,000 people in the workforce in the same period,” he said.

“Structural issues such as affordability and high taxes that derailed Connecticut’s recovery from the last recession remain real threats today – threats that cannot be ignored.”

“Conquering the labor shortage crisis—the biggest threat to our economy—requires long-term, sustainable solutions that make Connecticut more accessible to residents and employers and open up opportunities for everyone.”

The study concludes with policy recommendations aimed at lowering the cost of living, encouraging more housing options, retaining and attracting recent graduates, expanding career opportunities in manufacturing and commerce, and creating a more competitive business climate.

“We call on all politicians to take these decisions and open the doors to all communities and residents and make our economy more dynamic, reliable and fair,” DiPentima said.

“It’s more important than ever that we create an environment where people want to live and work.”

Thomas Philomeno of Marcum

“It’s more important than ever that we create an environment where people want to live and work,” added Thomas Filomeno, Marcum’s tax advisory partner.

“We want to be a country where people can fulfill their dreams, and this can only happen with a healthy and dynamic business economy.”

Michael Bruder, managing partner at Marcum’s Hartford office, said this year’s poll confirmed the urgent need to address the factors causing shortages in the state.

“Despite the abundance of jobs, finding dedicated skilled workers remains a challenge,” he said. “Unless we review our business policies, education and training systems and create initiatives to keep people here, our recovery will continue to lag.”

The CBIA sent out the 2022 Connecticut Enterprise Survey to more than 3,700 senior executives across the state from July 6 to August 8.

Most of the surveyed firms are small businesses: 80% employ less than 50 people, 10% employ between 50 and 99 people, 6% between 100 and 249, 2% between 250 and 499, and 2% with more than 500 human.

The response rate to the survey was 16.7% with an error of +/- 1.2%.


CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of companies, small and large, representing a wide variety of industries from all over the state. For more information please write or call Scott Beaulieu (860.244.1929).

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