2022 National Business Trends Survey Results Show Caution Mixed with Optimism for 2022 - American Society of Employers - Heather Nezich

2022 National Business Trends Survey Results Show Caution Mixed with Optimism for 2022

Press Contact: Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications    

E: [email protected]                                                                                          




72% of Executives Project Economy Will Remain the Same or Improve Slightly
 According to the EAA 2022 National Business Trends Survey


Troy, MI (December 9, 2021) – In the recently released 2022 National Business Trends Survey from the Employer Associations of America (EAA), business executives indicate a fair amount of caution mixed with optimism for the 2022 outlook. Results show 31% of executives believe the economy will improve and 41% expect the overall outlook for the 2022 economy to remain the same.

This annual survey shares information on what executives are doing to address business challenges. Survey responses also reflect the continuing impact COVID-19 has had on this year’s business trends.

“Business leaders have had another year of difficult decisions and tough choices,” said EAA Board of Directors Chair Gayle Gilham. “However, the trends we are seeing show just how strong and resolute executives are today.”

When asked how concerned respondents are regarding COVID-19 and its impact on business continuity (e.g., supply chain, financial implications, temporary shutdowns), 65% indicated that they are “extremely to moderately concerned” (an increase from last year’s 52%).

This past year, hiring and recruiting has become increasingly difficult as employees leave for more pay, flexible work arrangements, or new challenges. When asked their greatest business challenges for 2022, executives ranked talent acquisition, talent retention, and cost of materials as their top three.

According to the survey, 50% of organizations have been hiring in 2021 slightly to significantly more than was originally planned (compared to 20% last year). Most executives report that some to all of their hiring is due to voluntary turnover (90%), and 70% report their hiring is due to some or all newly created jobs.

With talent being such a critical factor, executives were asked what they thought were the top five most important factors prospective employees are looking for. The top five responses include:

1.       Competitive pay 84%

2.       Good work/life balance 74%

3.       Flexibility in work hours 57%

4.       Vacation/paid time off 38%

5.       Competitive/robust health benefits 38%

Given the national concern of COVID-19 and employee safety, the survey also asked how organizations are working to minimize risk and ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local laws. The top two responses were: providing face masks for employees tin the workplace (56%) and encouraging employees to get vaccinated (not required) (52%).

The survey also asked what the top measures are that executives have been or are planning to continue to implement in 2021 and 2022 to strengthen business results. The top five are listed below:

Listed in order of the top 2022 responses

2021 % of Responses

2022 % of Responses

Invest in technology



Invest in equipment



Increase recruiting emphasis



Offer hybrid work for positions we have not in the past



Increase in flexible work arrangements



In addition, the EAA 2022 National Business Trends Survey breaks results out on a local level.  Michigan respondents also ranked talent acquisition, talent retention, and cost of materials as their top three challenges.  In fact, more than two-thirds (67%) of Michigan respondents reported that they will be primarily hiring and increasing staff levels in 2022.  Most of this hiring is resulting from staff turnover and retirements.  Michigan employers cited Professional staff (non‐managers) and Skilled production workers as the most difficult to recruit for in this market.

Mary Corrado, President and CEO, of Michigan-based ASE added, “Michigan employers are certainly not immune from the challenges brought on by the continuing pandemic.  As the labor market continues to tighten, it is clear from the data that employers are preparing for further headwinds related to attracting and retaining talent.”

The EAA is a nonprofit national association that provides this annual survey to business executives offering insights and trends for business outlooks, business investment plans, staffing levels, hiring plans, job creation, pay strategies and business challenges. ASE members can access the full report of the 2022 National Business Trends Survey in their ASE Member Dashboard.  Non-members can request to purchase here.

About Employer Associations of America (EAA)
EAA consists of 29 regional employer associations serving 35,000 companies and more than six million employees. Regional employer associations are dedicated to serving their members as trusted partners that help members maximize the performance of their employees and their organization through business expertise in compliance, recruitment, retention, surveys, safety, training, and organization development. EAA’s mission is to advance a national presence and to promote local success among members through unparalleled collaboration, excellence, and efficiency. To learn more about the EAA, visit http://www.eaahub.org

About ASE

ASE is Michigan’s trusted HR partner.  ASE is a non-profit, membership organization – everything we do is based on the needs of members and to drive the success of their organizations.  ASE strengthens organization's HR departments by offering member benefits and discounted services that span the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, development, and retention while minimizing compliance risk. We provide our members guidance through new legislation and workplace issues such as those currently occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.


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