Jane R. Gordon
Focus Group Moderator
October 10, 1996
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lowman S. Henry / (717) 671-0776
CONFIDENCE GROWING IN PA'S BUSINESS CLIMATE
HARRISBURG -- There is growing optimism
among Pennsylvania's major employers about the direction
of our state's business climate. That optimism, spurred
by rising sales, has resulted in increased employment
opportunities and fewer firms thinking about moving from
The CEOs are
optimistic about the sales picture for the coming six months. 56%
said they expect sales to increase while only 7% forecast
decreasing sales. 37% expect sales levels to remain stable.
Perhaps the most significant development affecting Pennsylvania's business climate during the past six months was the enactment of Workers' Compensation Reform legislation in Harrisburg. The high cost of Workers' Compensation had previously been cited by business leaders as one of the chief reasons for Pennsylvania's poor business climate.
The most recent Keystone Business Climate Survey found 25% of the CEOs felt Workers' Compensation Reform was very helpful in improving the competitive position of their business and another 64% felt it was somewhat helpful. Only 11% of the CEOs felt the reforms had no effect on their competitive position.
As a result of the Worker's Compensation reforms, 39% of the companies surveyed said they are more likely to hire additional employees during the coming six months. 3% said they are less likely to hire employees as a result of the reforms and a majority, 58% said the changes would have no effect on their hiring plans.
Now that Workers' Compensation is off the legislative agenda, further cuts in the Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax tops the business community's wish list. 31% say cutting the CNI is the most important issue facing the business community, 21% cited tort reform as the most significant issue and 19% say cutting government regulations should top the agenda. 16% said adoption of a state Right-To-Work law should be the business community's highest priority while 6% want product liability reform and 5% want health care reform.