RALEIGH – North Carolina technology executives remain optimistic about the economy, their own business prospects, and most are still hiring, according to the results of a quarterly pulse survey conducted by the North Carolina Technology Association, NC TECH.

That consensus runs counter to growing concerns about the tech sector and warnings of a possible recession due to issues such as inflation and the war in Ukraine.

Brooks Raiford, president and CEO of NC TECH, told WRAL TechWire that worries aren’t a drag on hiring plans.

An overwhelming majority, 94.3% of respondents, noted their organizations still planned to hire additional staff in the coming months.  But there are some concerns about the current state of the labor market, with 57% of respondents noting they have some concern about the talent supply and more than half reported concerns about workers choosing to retire as a part of the so-called “Great Resignation.”

Talent already is proving hard to find with a record of nearly 50,000 open tech sector jobs across the state. according to NC TECH’s most recent jobs reoprt.

High-tech job openings in NC set a record: Nearly 50,000

In addition, companies reported a “strong sentiment to keep or grow office space.”  The data shows that while an equal portion of respondents, 18.7%, report plans to add and plans to decrease space, 56.1% of respondents expect to maintain their space.

That may seem counter-intuitive, said Raiford, as the percentage of companies reporting more than half of their workforce based in fully remote locations increased in the quarter to 73% from 66%.  But the demand for space “seems to be driven by two factors, increased hiring and the desire for less density in office space,” said Raiford.

Companies are also taking steps that one commercial real estate executive called a “flight to quality.”

One company executive told Raiford that they’d implemented 24 hours of mandatory in-office time, but that they’ve now updated their policies to only require one day in the office, Raiford shared on a webinar hosted by NC TECH to share the results of the survey.

Vast majority of NC tech execs plan to hire more workers, survey finds

Other data

Two in three respondents reported that the first quarter of 2022 was “good” for North Carolina’s technology sector, while 18.7% of respondents believed the performance of the sector could be classified as “great.”

Nearly 7 in 10 respondents expected their company’s business to grow, while 28% expected business to remain the same.  Only 2.8% anticipated a decline in their business during the second quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter, according to NC TECH’s presentation of the survey data.

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