Vistage Michigan Press Center

2016 Hiring Plans Show Promise According to Vistage Survey

SAN DIEGO (Dec. 15, 2015) — Good news for job seekers – small and mid-sized business owners are planning on increasing their workforce in 2016, according the Vistage CEO Confidence Index Survey, the largest survey of chief executives from small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.

Among all firms surveyed, more than half (55 percent) planned to increase their workforce in 2016. Few firms reported that they planned cutbacks in their total employment, just 8 percent in the most recent survey.

“The fed recently raised interest rates because the economy is stronger, and small businesses will benefit from that strength through 2016,” says Dr. Richard Curtin, an economist from the University of Michigan. “Because of that, we’ll see continued expansion of these firms and their investment in how many employees they hire.”

Despite some continued concerns about the larger economy, CEOs are feeling more stable in their own overall businesses. Nearly three-fourths of survey respondents reported revenue gains in the year ahead. More than half of the firms also expected rising profits, between last quarter’s 56 percent and last year’s 62 percent. Only 10 percent anticipated lower profits in the year ahead, nearly identical to the number of respondents who expected declines in their selling prices.

Other notable survey findings include:
•When asked about planned increases in investments in news plants and equipment, 44 percent reported increased investment in both the third and fourth quarters of 2015, slightly less than last year’s 49 percent.
•As CEOs continue to focus on expanding their workforce, the most significant challenge they face continues to be hiring, training and retaining staff members. With a tightened labor market, these challenges will inevitably lead to higher wages and increased benefits to secure key personnel.
•When asked about vacation time, CEOs reported taking nearly four weeks of vacation time each year. Almost every CEO surveyed (88 percent) works up to two hours a day while on vacation, and half mentioned their inability to detach from work during vacation.

How is the Vistage CEO Confidence Index calculated? (Percent of respondents who give favorable replies – percent of respondents who give unfavorable replies) + 100. The Index was 95.5 in the fourth- quarter 2015 survey, just below last quarter’s 96.3 and well below last year’s 107.5.

About the Vistage CEO Confidence Index
The Vistage CEO Confidence Index, established in 2003, is a quarterly survey of small- to mid-sized business CEOs about the U.S. economy. The Q4 2015 Vistage CEO Confidence Index includes responses from 1,355 U.S. CEOs, surveyed between November 30 and December 9, 2015 Since its establishment in 2003, the Index has proven to be a reliable indicator for changes in GDP and employment, two to three quarters hence.

About Vistage Worldwide, Inc.
Vistage Worldwide members get results. Founded in 1957, Vistage assembles and facilitates private advisory groups for CEOs, senior executives and business owners. An exclusive community of more than 20,000 business leaders across a broad array of industries in 16 countries, Vistage provides powerful networking opportunities and allows members to tap into different perspectives to solve difficult challenges, evaluate opportunities and develop effective strategies for better professional and business performance. Vistage groups are facilitated by successful independent leaders who provide valuable professional insight, executive coaching and corporate training based on their own extraordinary achievements. Vistage: Leading executives to achieve more than they ever imagined possible. Visit for more details.

Media Contact
Cybil Rose | KemperLesnik
312.755.3537 |

WSJ / VISTAGE Small Business CEO Survey

A monthly survey measuring the sentiment of U.S. small-business CEOs and owners about the economy. Respondents are limited to businesses with annual revenues of $1 million to $20 million. The findings are analyzed by Dr. Richard Curtin, University of Michigan.

View an interactive tool with the full results at