Three-fourths of all CEOs said it was a difficult task to find qualified employees, and one-in-five firms said this challenge ranked as the most important issue now facing their firms. Federal programs like the Workforce Investment Act to bolster job skills helped just one-in-five firms, with the balance nearly evenly split between those that never utilized the program and those who were unaware of its existence.Investment Plans Strengthen. More firms planned to invest in new plant and equipment, with the percent that planned to increase investment spending rising to 40% in the 1st quarter 2013 survey, up from 35% in the prior quarter and the highest since 45% was recorded in last year's 1st quarter survey. An expanding economy as well as improved prospects for their own businesses meant that just 12% of all CEOs expected to reduce their investment spending in the year ahead, down from last quarter's 20%. Economic uncertainty still clouds the horizon, but the threat of disruptive economic policies has greatly diminished.
Optimism Rebounds In Q1 2013 Vistage CEO Confidence Index
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