Nebraska businesses remained very optimistic in their outlook for sales and employment over the next six months, according to a monthly survey conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Twenty-three percent of respondents to the May Survey of Nebraska Business expected to add employees in the next six months. Only 5 percent said they expected to reduce employment.
Thirty-five percent of businesses expected sales to increase, compared to 22 percent who predicted a decline in sales.
While below record levels recorded in the April survey, business optimism remained strong in May. In particular, the outlook for employment is among the strongest ever recorded since the bureau began conducting the survey in September 2011.
“This optimism continues to suggest strong growth in the Nebraska economy during the second half of 2015,” said UNL economist Eric Thompson, the bureau’s director.
Customer demand was the most common business concern, cited by 31 percent of respondents. The quality and availability of labor was cited second most often, chosen by 14 percent of respondents. Thompson noted that there was also significant concern about public policy issues with 11 percent of respondents choosing government regulation as their top concern and 9 percent choosing taxes, in particular, property taxes.
The surveys are sent each month to 500 randomly selected Nebraska businesses. In May, 181 businesses responded, for a response rate of 36 percent.