Survey: Labor Shortage Hits 87% of Connecticut Manufacturers

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The labor shortage, inflation, and ongoing supply chain disruptions are among the key obstacles facing manufacturers in Connecticut.

The 2022 Connecticut Manufacturing Report, produced by CBIA and affiliates CONNSTEP and Ready CT, and made possible with the support of RSM, found that 87% of manufacturers experienced difficulty finding and retaining workers. 

Released today at the 2022 Connecticut Manufacturing Summit in Wallingford, the report revealed that a staggering 93% of manufacturers were impacted by supply chain disruptions. 

The report also showed that just 21% expect the state’s economy to grow next year.

Key Takeaways

  • 87% of manufacturers report difficulty finding and/or retaining employees and 44% say the lack of skilled applicants is the greatest obstacle to growth
  • Over a third (35%) report that the state’s high cost of living was the top concern for employees and their families
  • Just over two-thirds (68%) of manufacturers reported profits in 2021, up from 64% in 2020
  • 69% expect a profitable 2022, with just 6% forecasting losses
  • Only 21% see Connecticut’s economy growing in the next year and just 19% expect U.S. GDP growth
  • 91% of manufacturing leaders say the cost of doing business in Connecticut is increasing, while 53% say the state’s business climate is declining
  • 93% of manufacturers were impacted by supply chain disruptions
  • 22% of manufacturers are making their greatest investment in employee retention
  • 42% expect their workforce to grow in the next six months, down two points from last year
  • 47% forecast sales growth in 2022, down six percentage point from last year


CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said the report reinforces the urgent need to address Connecticut’s labor shortage crisis.

“As of August 2022, there were 114,000 job openings in Connecticut—up 8,000 from the same time last year,” DiPentima said. “If every unemployed person in the state were hired tomorrow, 37,000 positions would remain unfilled.

“An estimated 11,000 of those job openings are in the manufacturing sector, where manufacturers are struggling to meet record demand for their products.

“Manufacturers face unprecedented competition and challenges, including 40-year-high inflation and ongoing supply chain disruptions that must be met addressed.

“Structural issues like affordability and high taxes that disrupted and derailed Connecticut’s recovery from the last recession remain real threats today—threats that cannot be ignored.

“Solving the labor shortage crisis—our economy’s greatest threat—requires long-term sustainable solutions that will make Connecticut more affordable for residents and employers and unlock opportunities for all.”

“Solving the labor shortage crisis—our economy’s greatest threat—requires long-term sustainable solutions.”

CBIA’s Chris DiPentima

CBIA last month released its Transform Connecticut policy recommendations, a package of common sense solutions designed to address the labor shortage.

DiPentima said a bipartisan group of almost 150 candidates for the General Assembly and statewide offices have pledged their support for those solutions.

“We urge policymakers to embrace these solutions and open the doors to opportunity for all communities and residents and make our economy more vibrant, robust, and equitable,” DiPentima said.

CBIA surveyed top manufacturing executives throughout the state from July 6 through Aug. 8.

Seventy-one percent of manufacturers who responded to the survey employ less than 50 employees, and 85% have less than 100 employees.

The survey’s response rate was 16.7%, with a margin of error of +/-1.2%.

CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please contact Scott Beaulieu (860.244.1929).


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