Mobile’s Economy Continues to Roll
The Business View – March 2019 / From the Publisher
Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber’s annual State of the Economy (SOTE) event has grown into one of our signature events. It’s especially enlightening because it provides not only a revealing picture of the local economy in the past year but also a snapshot of what the economy will be in the coming year.
By all measures, 2018 was a very good year for Mobile’s economy – and perhaps most encouraging is the majority of business leaders believe 2019 will be an even better year for us. Details of the SOTE are provided in this issue, which I think you’ll find very interesting.
Most telling was the fact almost three out of four survey respondents felt the Mobile MSA economy will be better in 2019 than in 2018. Interestingly, fewer respondents were as bullish about the national economy with just over half feeling the U.S. economy as a whole will be better in 2019. Perhaps the best news of all: the 2018 SOTE revealed our region continues to see significant growth in our annual average wages; the key to any strong economy.
We asked our members to tell us their top obstacles to business growth in the coming year, and they said attracting and retaining qualified employees was their No. 1 concern. This was confirmation for us since our economic development strategy continues to have a strong focus on “talent development” with even more emphasis on this in our plan of action for the coming years.
Again on the positive side, business leaders indicate they will be expanding their facilities or purchasing new equipment, with some 66 percent saying they plan to do so in 2019. The local GDP continues to rise, nearing the $20 billion mark. This represents incredible productivity growth, rising from just over $17 billion a mere five years ago.
By all accounts, we have much to look forward to in the new year. Mobile is poised for another year of strong growth, and we can all marvel at the local economy’s ability to still yield meaningful growth and prosperity.
About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.