A survey of Indiana manufacturers found a majority were optimistic about future operations.
The Indiana Manufacturers Association’s Spring Business Survey of its members asked about post-pandemic recovery efforts and operating through the lingering effects of the crisis.
According to the survey, 63% of respondents indicated optimism about future operations. Respondents also were asked about their six-to-12-month outlook with 31% indicating they were very optimistic, while 44% were optimistic, 21% said stable and 5% were pessimistic.
“Indiana’s outlook remains positive, in no small part, due to thoughtful leadership throughout the manufacturing community,” said IMA President and CEO Brian Burton. “Our challenge now is to take the lessons of COVID-19 and use them to propel business forward with fresh ideas and discern how we can remain agile in times of uncertainty.”
An 18-to-24-month outlook also reflected optimism with 31% of respondents indicating they were very optimistic, while 46% were optimistic, 18% said conditions would be stable and 5% were pessimistic.
The latest survey, conducted between late May and early June, measured manufacturers’ outlook and various factors, including federal unemployment benefits, childcare and supply chains and that were impacting business operations and manufacturers’ ability to run their businesses.
Survey respondents expressed difficulty finding qualified workers to fill open positions. Most respondents, about 59%, indicated it has been extremely hard to find qualified workers and 84% responded ‘yes,’ when asked if the federal unemployment benefits had affected their ability to hire workers.
Regarding vaccinations against COVID-19, 25% of survey respondents said they took no action, while 74% indicated encouraging employees to get vaccinated. Just 1% of respondents mandated vaccinations for all employees.
In encouraging vaccination among employees, 38% of respondents offered paid time off, 6% offered extra sick days, 6% offered cash or other incentives, and 50% employed other methods.
When asked about supply chain disruptions, 3% said supply chains were very reliable, 42% said they were experiencing some manageable delays, 40% said there are serious but manageable delays, and 15% stated serious delays are impacting the success of their businesses.
Most survey respondents said 86% of employees are working fully in person. Five percent said production personnel were the only in-person workers, and 9% stated they were phasing in non-production personnel.
For those with employees still working from home, 65% said their timeline for return to in-person work was between one and two months while 27% indicated in-person work would occur in the fall, and 8% indicated in-person work would resume in 2022.