Four in 10 Small Business Owners Expect to Hire Additional Workers and Increase Wages in 2016 According to Michigan Future Business Index

December 18, 2015

Small- to mid-sized business owners are experiencing substantial growth and are poised to reinvest in their business and employees in 2016, according to the November 2015 Michigan Future Business Index, published today in partnership with Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and the Michigan Business Network.

The survey shows that many key indicators continue to steadily rise. For example, 70 percent of respondents are satisfied with the economy. Fifty percent said sales are up, compared to 35 percent in late 2011.  Forty-four percent of companies reported rising wages as compared to 15 percent in 2011.  And, 32 percent of companies hired people in 2015, compared to 11 percent in 2011. Most importantly, survey respondents expect these trends to continue into 2016.  Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed expect an improved bottom line over the next six months – a new high.  Forty percent of the companies will hire more workers and 42 percent expect to increase wages.

Keeping and attracting good employees remains the greatest challenge to small business owners, according to the survey respondents. Twenty-two percent cite labor market challenges as their biggest concern, up from 16 percent in the June survey.

“Clearly, there is tremendous optimism about the business climate in Michigan and the opportunities for success,” said Mike Britt, president of Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. “We should all feel good about the improvements we’ve seen in Michigan over the past few years.  However, we can’t lose sight of the challenges we face in attracting and retaining top employees.”

“The latest survey highlights just how far we have come over the past few years.  Michigan small business owners should feel great pride in what they have accomplished,” said Chris Holman, CEO of the Michigan Business Network. “They have made tremendous progress and I expect that to continue into 2016 and beyond.”

Review a detailed summary of the November 2015 Michigan Future Business Index at or

About the Survey

The semi-annual Michigan Future Business Index has been commissioned by Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and the Michigan Business Network since 2006 and is conducted by the Michigan-based marketing services and survey research firm, Phoenix Innovate.  A total of 755 Michigan business owners and C-suite executives were interviewed between November 2 and December 3 via phone and web for the November 2015 survey.

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