Georgia business leaders remain confident in economic outlook, despite looming workforce challenges

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce's Executive Insights survey was sent to over one thousand of the state’s CEOs, showing over three-quarters of respondents feel optimistic about Georgia's economy. (Pixabay)

Completed in January of this year, The Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Insights survey was sent to over one thousand of the state’s CEOs.

According to the results, over three-quarters of respondents feel optimistic about Georgia’s economy, a 17% increase from last year. Comparatively, only 41% felt as good about the U.S. economy.

Chris Arnone, vice chair of Moore Colson, an Atlanta-based accounting firm, says that his clients echo the optimism found in the report.

“Georgia’s leadership has been pro-business, so you see a lot of companies relocating here. I think that’s certainly one driver,” said the executive.

Chris Clark, CEO and President of the Chamber, added that respondents’ top concerns were shown to be staff recruitment and retention.

“We want young, energetic, hardworking men and women to move here, live here, work here, pray here and play here,” he said. “We have to give them somewhere they can afford to live when they start out their careers.”

A man with glasses posing for a headshot.
Chris Clark is the CEO and President of the Chamber. He says respondents’ top concerns were staff recruitment and retention. (Courtesy of Chamber of Commerce)

Executives identified a lack of housing as a barrier to maintaining a competitive workforce. Clark says solving this problem will be critical as companies continue to relocate here and the manufacturing sector grows.

“Unfortunately, this is the second year in a row that we’ve tried to work with our cities, counties and state government to make some changes to make it easier to build workforce housing. We weren’t successful with those at the session,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Georgia Chamber announced plans to open The Center for Workforce and Talent Preparedness, which will house the chamber’s efforts to attract, develop and retain the talent needed to support a skilled workforce in the state.

Daniela Perry, vice president of the Georgia Chamber Foundation, he chamber hopes to fully launch the center by the end of this year.

“This is really going to bring together so many workforce economic development and talent partners within the state to have a statewide focus around how we can really effectively address workforce challenges,” she said in regards to the upcoming addition.