AlabamaWorks! Business Survey Results Show COVID-19 Impact

Published 9:56 am Friday, May 8, 2020

An estimated 1,800 business owners statewide took part in the Alabama COVID-19 Workforce Response Survey developed by AlabamaWorks.

The survey results provided an in-depth look at the pandemic’s impact on the state’s employers and eventually help determine how private industry and government together can support the economy and get people back to work.

“We are grateful to the business owners who took the time to help us identify critical needs and priorities for a full workforce recovery,” Alabama Workforce Council Chairman, Tim McCartney said in a release.

“Utilizing the survey results, the Alabama Workforce Council will continue with our important work of assisting the state to the fullest extent possible with all workforce recovery efforts and continue to push career pathways and programs that are most resilient to create a more agile workforce.”


Sixty-eight percent of Survey respondents were small business owners with less than 25 employees. Forty-one percent employed mostly hourly workers and 59 percent responded operating in just one county. The industries with the highest participation rate were other services, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, hospitality and food services, and manufacturing.

A large number of respondents, 82 percent expect the COVID-19 pandemic to have a negative financial impact on their business. Thirty-three percent have laid off employees because of the pandemic.

Nearly half of respondents expect their business climate to improve over the next six months. Fifty-three percent of respondents indicated a hiring freeze during the pandemic. Respondents also expressed general concerns over the duration of the pandemic, availability of government assistance and retention of skilled workers, among other issues.

Fifty-three percent of businesses indicated during and after the pandemic more employer-delivered, skills-based training would benefit their company, making it the form of training in highest demand.

In the near future, AlabamaWorks and the Alabama Workforce Council will use the information in discussions with various stakeholders surrounding the future of workforce statewide.

A three-page report of the survey results can be found at Workforce Response Survey Results and also on