For employers in Connecticut, this isn’t exactly the best of times. But it isn’t the worst of times either. That seemed to be the message of a variety of economists at a conference I attended yesterday sponsored by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.
In fact, a CBIA survey released yesterday (and sponsored by Blum Shapiro) found that a slight majority of Connecticut businesses responding expect growth over the next year but that executives were neither "overly positive nor negative about business conditions for their companies". Several economists pointed out at the conference that Connecticut has fared better than the rest of the nation over the last year and that the state is much better off than the recession of the early 90s when nearly 160,000 jobs were lost in the state.
The mixed messages were discussed both at the conference and can be found in the survey too. For every number that was raised as a positive, another number could be found as a negative. For example, 67% of employers added new jobs last year, but 61% of employers are also coping with workforce shortages.
As a result, the survey concludes that "to stay productive and competitive, employers may need to try new approaches to recruiting employees and developing and retaining incumbents."
A representative from AT&T at the meeting suggested that one option may be telecommuting and he relayed the fact that AT&T is going to have nearly 2000 employees off the roads soon with telecommuting. But for other employers, other solutions are going to need to be explored. Working with legal counsel can ensure that these options don’t create more problems than they solve (such as overtime issues, etc) but these types of issues are also going to require more than just legal advice. As always, the businesses that can adapt quickly to these changes are the ones that are most likely to succeed in the long run.