Report: Workforce, Cost of Business Priority Manufacturing Issues

Media Center

Navigating the workforce crisis and the high cost of doing business in Connecticut are key challenges for manufacturers according to a new report.

The 2023 Connecticut Manufacturing Report, produced by CBIA and affiliates CONNSTEP and ReadyCT, and made possible with the support of RSM, found that for the second consecutive year, 86% of manufacturers report difficulty finding and retaining workers. 

Released today at the 2023 Made in Connecticut Manufacturing Summit in Plantsville, the report also revealed that 91% of manufacturers say the cost of doing business in Connecticut is increasing.

Those cost pressures are primarily driven by rising labor costs and high taxes.

Key Findings

  • 86% of Connecticut manufacturers report difficulty finding and/or retaining employees—essentially unchanged from last year
  • The lack of skilled job applicants is the greatest obstacle to growth for 48%, up four percentage points from last year
  • 91% of manufacturing leaders say the cost of doing business in Connecticut is increasing, driven by rising labor costs and high taxes
  • 23% expect the state’s economy to grow in 2023, while 30% expect the U.S. economy to expand
  • 43% say the state’s business climate is static, 36% believe it’s declining (down 17 points from last year), and 8% see improvement
  • More than half (57%) expect their workforce to remain stable over the next six months, with 33% projecting growth
  • 77% of Connecticut manufacturers reported profits in 2022, up from 67% in 2021, and 66% expect a profitable 2023
  • Investment in properties and facilities is the main priority for 37%, followed by employee retention and recruitment (27%)

Labor Shortage

“The results of this survey only reinforce what we’ve known for some time—we need to address the state’s workforce crisis,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima. 

“As the report highlights, Connecticut’s manufacturers remain resilient in the face of economic uncertainty and the state’s high cost of doing business by innovating processes and adapting workflows to be more productive and reduce costs.

“They are finding ways to navigate persistent supply chain and inflation challenges while finding and engaging employees—for instance, the average manufacturing wage grew to more than $92,000 in 2022, 14% higher than the state’s average wage.

2023 Connecticut Manufacturing Report

“Yet with nearly nine-in-10 manufacturers reporting difficulty finding and retaining workers for a second straight year, it is past time to address the structural factors driving the labor shortage, including an aging workforce, a decade-plus of stagnant population growth, and the state’s high costs of living and doing business.”

The report highlights solutions for these challenges, including the strategic plan released in March by the Office of Manufacturing to grow the state’s manufacturing sector. 

The information and data shared in the 2023 Connecticut Manufacturing Report was drawn from multiple sources, including a comprehensive June 12-July 17 CBIA survey of manufacturers, numerous state and federal agencies, and interviews with public and private sector manufacturing leaders.

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)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Connected with CBIA News Digests

The latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox.