Wisconsin business leaders say the state is headed in the right direction, yet one in five plans to cut staff in the next six months, the largest percentage in more than three years, according to a semi-annual survey conducted by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Twenty percent said they plan layoffs in the first half of 2013, the highest since June 2009, when 41 percent expected job cuts.

One in four chief executives, or 24 percent, said they will add employees, down from 44 percent a year ago and 62 percent last June.

The state business organization sent online surveys to more than 1,100 of its members in mid-November, and 121 replied.

Only 4 percent of CEOs said they expect "good growth" in their company in the next six months, down from 9 percent a year ago, and 16 percent anticipate a decline compared with 5 percent last year.

Health care is the No. 2 business concern, after the economic slowdown, the poll showed.

With 13 percent saying their health insurance costs have increased more than 20 percent in the past year, up from 8 percent a year ago, more employers say they are dropping health coverage for their workers. Five percent say they do not offer health insurance now, and 9 percent say they will end health benefits, up from 2 percent a year ago.

CEOs were gung-ho on the state, though, with 93 percent saying "things in Wisconsin are going in the right direction" and 40 percent describing state government as "very pro-business."

WMC spokesman Jim Pugh said he thinks the concerns business leaders expressed in the survey were about "policies coming out of Washington, D.C.," specifically involving health care, environmental protection and labor union organization.

Pugh said the survey's margin of error is 8.9 percent.

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(15) comments


this is the data from the WMC
Only 4 percent of CEOs said they expect "good growth" in their company in the next six months, down from 9 percent a year ago, and 16 percent anticipate a decline compared with 5 percent last year.

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skippie. you are correct, it is just the beginning.


Recession II is on the way. Obama's lack of a vision for our economy while stoking a debt which exceeds our annual gross domestic product is a disaster.


Why take anything the WMC says seriously? They also predicted a large hiring spree after the recall election last June.


So when they say things are going well, they mean for the owners and stock holders not the workers. Scooter, what happened to those 250,000 jobs you were going to create? Your business cronies are focused solely on maximizing profits and making others pay for public services.


How will obamaroid blame bush for this. 6 months he will have his 10% unemployment and more of his dumb butt trolls still on thier knees worshiping him.


Any one who has any clue about business operation predicted this run on layoffs and business downgrade 3 YEARS AGO! Sadly, one can only laugh at the total ignorance of the lefties . Sort of ironic that the ones who voted FOR pres clueless will now bear the fruit of their decision,UNEMPLOYMENT. The Obama care fiasco is only one of the reasons we are headed for a real recession .According to an ins exec with whom I had lunch, health insurance costs will skyrocket under obama care because many small ins co will stop selling health insurance because of the 85% requirement and the remaining large companies will RAISE the premiums because of the extra reg requirements . Also many employers now providing health insurance will NOT provide it anymore because of the cost increase and inflexability. Yes, stupidity has consequences.


I suggest lookling at where a corporation's money goes. CEO pay is at its highest level and it is unlikely that any of these CEOs will have their compensation cut. The new healthcare act is not costing these companies. The folks that run corporations have no appreciation for the people who actually do the work for them. Those on corporate boards and those in management view those people who do the work as numbers on paper. They have lost touch with the humanity they employee and thus feed and clothe and shelter. They have also lost touch with the fact that the environment is not another problem for their bottom lines, but it is the home where we reside. Didn't they learn in kindegarten and from their mothers to pick up after themselves and try not to make messes. Do they want to reside in filth? And labor unions are a problem for them?! If they treated their employees as human beings instead of numbers on paper, there would not be a need for unions and there would be no problem. Intersting how these are the very supporters of the idea that corporations are people, yet behave as though human beings are not people. We have a lack of maturity in corporate America.


America is getting better, and Wisconsin is going in the wrong direction.

The only reason WMC business leaders say we're going in the right direction is because they have somebody in the governor's mansion who will help them steal the rest of us blind.


More layoffs because of Obamacare. It's just beginning. Wait until it really gets rolling. Happy liberals?


You can not believe a word that comes out of WMC. They are as much a Koch front group as Americans For Prosperity.


You also cannot believe a thing that comes out of an idiot liberal dem. They are nothing but tools of the unions.


You know who else hated unions and liberals?


Not exactly what I would call a scientific survey. And just how many business owners were contacted and participated in this survey?


looks like obama care is having a negative effect - and I don't think it is going to get any better

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