JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI) – In May, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce performed a survey – with input from the Teton County Housing Department - to collect data from approximately 250 members.
During the Business Over Breakfast on June 3, the Chamber presented the survey’s findings in conjunction with The Teton County Housing Department’s April Norton and The McPeak Group’s Brett McPeak.
To view a video of the BOB click HERE.
The vast majority of the businesses surveyed said housing difficulties are underpinning their struggle to find workers.
As a result of the survey, the Chamber is comprising a Business Housing Roundtable to shift the conversation from focusing on the challenges to explore ways to make improvements. There are currently approximately 100 businesses involved.
“Not only did this survey highlight trends and tangible results, it garnered hundreds of relevant comments," Chamber President & CEO Anna Olson said. "They are so helpful and will also contribute to our follow up.”
The collected feedback is as follows:
- Over 50% of respondents are considering adjusting their operations due to the staffing shortage whether through reducing hours or days (32%), adjusting their product (19%), or closing their business entirely (5%). Mentioned in the “other” category often is leaving Teton County, whether it be allowing remote work or moving their office entirely.
- The approximately 250 have approximately 3,000 open positions, 2/3 of which are for FTEs. This indicates that our economy is shifting to more year-round and less seasonal.
- Based on how many applications each business received, there are at most 1 candidate for every 3 open positions.
- In response, 85% of employers have increased their wages, 36% offer a referral bonus, and 27% offer a sign-on bonus.
- 80% of our businesses rely on employees who commute from Star Valley or Teton Valley.
- 55% of our businesses have had 1-5 employees lose housing in the last 6 months.
- 5% of respondents believe housing is at the core of their staffing struggles. 44% assist their employees with housing whether through a housing stipend, subsidized, or on-site housing.
- 81% expressed that the Teton County Housing Department should be funded more significantly, specifically being led by SPET earmarked for housing (64%), private investment partnerships (63%), additional local sales tax/penny tax (60%), real estate transfer tax (59%), and others. The Jackson Hole Daily pointed out the shift in some of these positions—in the November general election voters struck down the penny tax and a real estate transfer tax has been voted down at a state level consistently. This may be an indicator of opinions shifting.
Next steps include:
- Sending out industry specific results to each industry segment so they can see data for their peer set.
- Engaging the Business Housing Roundtable members with a Stage 2 Survey.
- Possibly creating a “Basket of Consumer Goods” to understand actual cost-per-living numbers.