Business Climate Survey

Survey: Maryland Businesses Planning Job Growth

Henry Fawell Mar 26, 2018



Survey: Maryland Businesses Planning Job Growth

ROCKVILLE, MD (March 26, 2018) — A majority of Maryland business executives expect to increase employment in the next year, but an equal amount report having difficulty finding qualified workers. These are some of the major findings in the 2018 Maryland Business Climate Survey pilot, a joint project between the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute and the nonpartisan Maryland Public Policy Institute.

The in-depth survey of senior executives at 250 Maryland businesses offers a rare quantitative glimpse into the sentiment of the state’s business leaders. This is the first installment of the survey since the fourth quarter of 2011. 

“The survey finds that Maryland’s economy is well positioned to grow in the future provided that employers can find the right candidates for jobs,” said Richard Clinch, Ph.D., author of the survey. “Solving the workforce shortage and minimizing the negative impact of tax policy on businesses will be critical to Maryland’s economic strength moving forward.  

Among the key findings of 2018 Maryland Business Climate Survey pilot:

  • Perceptions of Maryland’s Business Climate Have Improved: The percentage of firms viewing Maryland as business friendly increased from 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 47 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. The percentage of businesses holding a negative view of the state’s business climate decreased from 43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, to 17 percent in this most recent survey.

  • Businesses Experience a Workforce Shortage: In the past year, 55 percent of business surveyed reported that their companies had experienced difficulties in obtaining workers with the skills necessary to fill specific job requirements.

  • Washington-Area Businesses Show Greatest Optimism: Sixty percent of the firms in the Washington suburbs have a positive view of the business climate while only 39 percent of firms in the Baltimore metropolitan area view the business climate favorably. Forty-two percent of firms in the rest of the state have a favorable view.

  • Taxes Still Matter: Fully 63 percent of businesses surveyed report that taxes had at least some negative impact on their operations.

“The task before local, state and federal leaders is to create the conditions for entrepreneurs in all corners of the state to prosper and create jobs, not just the Washington suburbs,” said Christopher B. Summers, president and chief executive officer of the Maryland Public Policy Institute.

This is the first in what will be a quarterly survey on the performance of the State’s economy and business perceptions on Maryland as a place to do business.

Read the full survey findings and methodology at


About the Maryland Public Policy Institute: Founded in 2001, the Maryland Public Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization that focuses on state policy issues. The Institute’s mission is to formulate and promote public policies at all levels of government based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society.  Learn more at

About the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute: The Jacob France Institute serves as a leading source of high quality statistical information and research covering the interaction of business, worker, education, social service, community development, and government investment decisions.


Climate Survey Press Release (PDF)