N.J. executives’ survey finds some cause for optimism

TRENTON – The glass is more than half full, according to a survey of N.J. business executives.

Seven out of 10 such execs replied to a survey by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and Sovereign Bank that they expect their companies’ prospects to improve over the next 12 months.

Additionally, 55 percent said they plan to hire in the next 12 months. Thirty-seven percent of respondents expect to hold employee levels steady, and only 8 percent anticipate a staff decrease.

The so-called ‘flash’ survey was conducted among 200 executives, managers and business owners at an economic forum held Tuesday in Edison.

“Business leaders and CEOs have a lot of confidence in New Jersey,” said Kevin Welsh, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis. “These transactions are creating jobs. If this doesn’t speak to confidence in this state, I don’t know what does.”

The transactions he referred to include recent announcements such as the move of Panasonic to Newark and Novo Nordisk choosing Plainsboro as a site for 1,500 employees.

On other findings:

The survey respondents chose property taxes (31 percent) and the cost of health care (17 percent) as the top challenges facing New Jersey.

As for their companies’ biggest challenges, the respondents chose attracting customers (30 percent), retaining existing customers (19 percent) and the cost of health insurance and employee benefits (18 percent). N.J. executives’ survey finds some cause for optimism