National Business Trends 2022

72 Percent of Executives Project Economy Will Remain the Same or Improve Slightly

According to the EAA 2022 National Business Trends Survey

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 percent of executives believe the economy will improve and 41 percent 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 percent indicated that they are “extremely to moderately concerned” (an increase from last year’s 52 percent).

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 percent of organizations have been hiring in 2021 slightly to significantly more than was originally planned (compared to 20 percent last year). Most executives report that some to all of their hiring is due to voluntary turnover (90 percent), and 70 percent 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 responses2021 %
of Responses
2022 %
of Responses
Invest in technology38%49%
Invest in equipment37%46%
Increase recruiting emphasis40%44%
Offer hybrid work for positions we have not had in the past30%30%
Increase in flexible work arrangements2827%

In addition, the EAA 2022 National Business Trends Survey breaks results out on a local level. In this region, respondents identified talent acquisition as a serious challenge to their business.

“EAF partners with specialists in the staffing/recruiting industry to help our members find qualified employees in this tight labor market,” said Rita Manny, President of Employers Association Forum, Inc. (EAF).

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. For a copy of the full report of the 2022 National Business Trends Survey, contact Rita Manny, President, Employers Association Forum, Inc., 407.260.6556.

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

About Employers Association Forum, Inc. (EAF)
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