SEATTLE – Although sales haven’t risen for most and the number of workers they employ is unchanged, Seattle business executives are more optimistic about the future than they were during the second quarter of the year, according to a recent survey.
 
In the latest in a series of surveys conducted by the Washington State University School of Economic Sciences (SES) and the Seattle Business Executives Association at the end of the third quarter of 2011, respondents demonstrated a significant upturn in economic optimism, following a significant drop during the second quarter.
 
Andrew Cassey, assistant professor in the SES, called the change “good and surprising news.”
 
“The upturn in economic look, however, is driven more by a decline in pessimistic views than an increase in optimistic views,” Cassey said.
 
Survey respondents also answered questions about workforce composition and labor costs. A little more than 40 percent reported that they had decreased their labor costs over the past year, using a variety of cost-saving techniques. However, only a quarter of those surveyed expect to make further cuts to labor costs in 2012.
 
They also said that, given the labor cost cuts they’ve already made, any future cuts will mean eliminating positions or reducing worker hours.
 
The majority of those surveyed said there is nothing the state or federal government can do to spur them to create more jobs in the upcoming year.
 
Complete survey results are available at http://www.impact.wsu.edu/survey/EconomicOutlook.html