February 9, 2017

illustration of a large group of people forming a bar chart with an upward arrow

For some time now, employers across the Southeast have been reporting that they plan to increase staffing levels. However, they have said they continue to experience difficulties finding workers with the necessary skills. Businesses have also indicated that wage growth remains modest.

To better understand what is happening in our labor market, the Atlanta Fed conducted a poll of its business contacts from November 9 through November 16, asking firms across the Sixth District about their hiring plans, wage trends, and outlook for growth. We received more than 275 responses, representing a wide variety of firm types and sizes.

November 2016 Survey Participant Characteristics (click to view)

Several participants at our November Human Capital Advisory Council meeting said that it remains challenging to attract employees to the construction and energy sectors and also peak demand in the retail sector.

Interestingly, participants at our November Human Capital Advisory Council meeting noted that firms have become more competitive in an effort to retain and attract employees but quality of life and work environment, rather than compensation, seem to be the driving factor for many when making a decision.

photo of Whitney Mancuso
Whitney Mancuso

Senior Economic Research Analyst


photo of Shalini Patel
Shalini Patel

Director, Regional Economic Information Network