MANHATTAN, KS (May 11, 2020) – The Greater Manhattan Economic Partnership invited major employers in the region to complete a survey as data is critically important to tell the collective story of the COVID-19 impact on our business community. These numbers help detail the economic reality for community leaders in the Manhattan area. This survey was conducted April 14-24.
Some 55 survey responses were received from major/primary employers in Riley and Pottawatomie Counties. These employers represent over 7,600 jobs in the Manhattan area. The average size of employer was 115 full-time and 42 part-time employees.
According to the responses, the top concerns among the employers was a decrease in consumer confidence along with the financial impact on operations and/or liquidity and capital. Additionally, employers expressed a concern that a recession may be imminent. Also on the employers’ minds was the status of Kansas State University and the long-term enrollment.
Employers estimated their business could survive on average 26 weeks before closing.
As for employees, the top concerns were mental health (stress/anxiety), physical health/safety, maintaining employment, childcare, financial stability and adapting to remote work. The employers rated workforce morale at a 5.3 on a scale of one to seven.
Other employment Information gathered included:
- 100% of businesses responding are open with 56% operating on-site and 44% operating remote
- 29% changed employee count (layoffs/furloughs), while 71% reported no change in employee count
- 57% of respondents reported a decrease in revenue by an average of 29% as a result of the pandemic, 37% no change in revenue, and 6% reported an increase in revenue
- 54% of respondents do not anticipate permanent workforce reductions in next 3 months
- 88% of employees temporarily not reporting for work are being paid during work hiatus
Finally, the employers indicated the following as assistance that might be needed. This included:
- Employee resources
- Representation of business issues to government officials and coordination with local government to reduce barriers to a quick economic recovery
- Distribution of other employer best practices
Of the businesses surveyed, the industries represented includes:
- Manufacturing – 17%, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services – 15%, Other – 12% (Software as a Service, Wealth Management, Philanthropic Foundation, Quarrying and Civil Construction), Health Care and Social Assistance – 10%, Construction – 7%, Wholesale Trade – 7%, Educational Services – 5%, Retail Trade – 5%