Marketplace Staffing Survey Says: Business Leaders Cautiously Optimistic

Marketplace Staffing Survey of 200 business leaders indicates growing confidence, increasing optimism, plans to add employees

Greenville, SC, March 29, 2012 – Some 200 business leaders from across the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina spanning dozens of industries weighed in on the state of the region’s and nation’s economy, with 67.9% voicing confidence that the recession is waning and the economy slowly strengthening, according to a Marketplace Staffing survey conducted earlier this month.

Marketplace Staffing, one of the Upstate’s largest and fastest-growing staffing and human capital solutions firms, surveyed hundreds of Upstate business leaders and consultants electronically, with 206 completed responses submitted. Executives and employees of more than 180 organizations participated in the 2012 Upstate & National Economic Outlook Survey, along with independent consultants, advisors and retired business leaders. Over 30 industries were represented, with strongest participation from manufacturing, professional services, real estate, healthcare, financial services and non-profits. Median revenue range for organizations was slightly under $9 million.

In addition to 67.9% of respondents stating that they believe the economy is slowly strengthening, 51.4% said they were “optimistic for the outlook of the region’s and nation’s economies”, while only 21.4% held a pessimistic outlook. Respondents offering additional comments expressed far-ranging opinions linked to the upcoming Fall elections and their impact on the economy. Noted one participant, “I’m optimistic if the current President is voted out, pessimistic if he is not…” while a second offered “We’re finally making strides; the last thing we need to do now is make a change.”

When asked to identify the action that would most benefit the recovery of the economy, 32.1% called for a change in the Democratic-led administration, 17.1% called on the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low to encourage growth, and 12.9% called on Congress to repeal healthcare reform.

Asked to note indicators that have had the greatest impact on the economy in the last 24 months, survey participants agreed that the housing slowdown (94.2%) had either an extreme impact or significant impact on the economy. Other indicators noted as strong contributors to the recessionary environment included rising unemployment (87.5% agreed), the credit crunch (81.2%), rising national debt (78.2%), and rising fuel and energy prices (76.7%).

On the employment front, 26.6% expect to increase staffing in their organizations during 2012 by an average of 5%, while 67.6% expect their employee base to remain flat. Noted one participant, “I hope to add staff because it would help us drive revenues, but business demand has been lagging for two years.”

Business leaders expect revenues to rise more significantly in 2012, driven by improved customer demand, increasing productivity as well as growing employee bases. Of respondents, 41.6% expect revenues to increase more than 6% this year, and 75.9% expect at least some revenue growth. One in six businesses (16.6%) expect revenue increases of 11% or greater in 2012.

Finally, when asked to identify the most significant challenges facing their organization today, respondents offered a plethora of answers, with 3 emerging as most critical: Low customer demand (45.1%), rising healthcare costs (37.6%, and increasing employee salary and benefit costs (30.1%).

Founded in 1996, Marketplace Staffing provides high quality, value-added staffing services and solutions to leading companies across the Southeast. A certified minority business enterprise (MBE), Marketplace has become one of the leading independent staffing providers in the entire country by providing world-class, comprehensive staffing and productivity solutions. The organization provides a blue–chip client list with contract and outsourcing services, temporary staffing, temp-to-hire associates, executive recruiting and placement, and payroll and support services. Marketplace is a prior honoree as one of South Carolina’s Fastest-Growing Companies by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

For additional information on the 2012 Upstate & National Economic Outlook Survey, or on Marketplace Staffing, contact Ray Lattimore at 864.286.3900 or visit them at


NOTE: Additional information upon request from:
Sam Patrick
Patrick Marketing & Communications, Inc.
[email protected]

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