UA Survey: Education, Training Top Economic Issues

  • March 1st, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Business executives in Alabama believe education and workforce training comprise the top issue facing the state.

Executives are surveyed annually by the Center for Business and Economic Research in The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce on topics related to issues facing their companies and the state. More than 104 business executives participated in the latest survey. The survey has been conducted since 2013 and asks for opinions of the Alabama Business Confidence Index™ (ABCI) panelists.

Education and workforce training ranked second in the 2015 survey, and the new ranking was one of the most significant shifts from the previous year.

In issues affecting companies directly, business executives ranked “economy in general” as their top issue, which was fourth in the 2015 survey.

“Based on the comments we received, business leaders specifically mentioned the growth of the state and national economy, consumer confidence and a slow economic recovery,” said Viktoria Riiman, socieoeconomic analyst for CBER.

Riiman noted that government regulations and taxes ranked closely to the economy in general in the individual company part of the survey. Workforce and company finances and development were the third- and fourth-ranked issues facing companies.

Economic and business development, dissatisfaction with government, infrastructure improvement and job growth rounded out the issues facing the Alabama.

Each quarter, business executives across Alabama take the ABCI survey. Seventy-one percent of ABCI panelists use the results as a general indicator of local or regional economic outlook. Nearly 53 percent of business executives also compare personal projections to others’ viewpoints, and 43 percent use the ABCI results as background information for estimating trends. Almost 30 percent of business executives share results with others, and 24 percent use the ABCI results in short-term planning.

The ABCI panel is open to business executives across the state. Registration and current and historical results are available on the ABCI website. Newsletters with results are provided for Alabama and for the Birmingham-Hoover, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery metro areas. Panelists can take the Q2 2017 survey March 1-15.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.