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Author:Kosakow, Jason 

Discussion Paper
A Penny for Your Thoughts? How Survey Comments Help Us Understand Our Region’s Labor Market

We regularly report the quantitative results from the Richmond Fed business surveys, but participants' comments also provide useful context for changes in local business conditions. Most recently, a survey of human resources professionals complemented our surveys of area businesses. The comments from both surveys have provided insight into the region's labor market, as well as indicated that the persistent challenge of finding workers has led executives and recruiters to intensify their efforts and expand the tools they use to attract workers.
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Fifth District Firms Report Cautious Optimism Going Into 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath have required constant shifts in how businesses operate. Not surprisingly, uncertainty has been a theme among many firms in the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's business outreach in the last few years. To better understand what firms are expecting for 2023, we asked them for their outlook and the strategies they might take to prepare for possible economic scenarios.
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Regional Businesses Returning to Pre-COVID-19 Operations

Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Are Fifth District Firms Revisiting Their Prices Less Often Amid Cooling Inflation?

The Richmond Fed's monthly business surveys of Fifth District firms gauge regional firm dynamics in pricing. We carefully monitor changes in firms' realized prices as well as their pricing expectations, especially since inflation began to accelerate in 2021 and 2022. Early last year, we examined how firms began to adjust their prices more frequently as firms' price forecasts became less accurate and uncertainty rose, as evidenced by a rising standard deviation of price growth expectations.
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Rising Wages and Increased Hiring Two Years Into the COVID-19 Pandemic

Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
How Much for Your Time? Fifth District Firms Struggle to Find Workers

Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Results From the Survey of Community College Outcomes Extended Pilot

After three years of developing partnerships with community colleges across the Fifth District, we are proud to release our first-year results from our extended pilot of the Survey of Community College Outcomes.When the Richmond Fed launched this initiative, the most common question we heard from community colleges was, "Why does the Richmond Fed care about community colleges?" The answer is that the Richmond Fed cares about workforce development, and community colleges play a vital role across the Fifth District providing individuals with the skills needed to participate in the workforce.
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Firm Price-Setting Behavior Amid Elevated Price Growth: Evidence From Our Surveys

very month, the Richmond Fed surveys firms across the Fifth District to understand how economic and business conditions are changing. As a part of this survey, we ask firms to report the 12-month percentage change in the prices they receive from customers for their goods or services. Additionally, we ask firms to provide their expectations for how prices will change over the next 12 months.As inflation has picked up in the U.S. economy, we have paid particular attention to the price measures from our surveys. Not surprisingly, firms in our district have experienced higher price growth since ...
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
Fifth District Firms Are Cautiously Optimistic About 2024 Despite Concerns

At the start of both 2023 and 2024, we asked our business survey panelists about their expectations for the upcoming year. In our recent December survey, we found that most manufacturing firms were pessimistic about the U.S. economy going into 2024 but were more bullish about their own-firm prospects. Additionally, manufacturers were more likely than services firms to expect lower revenue, employment, spending, and price growth in 2024 than they experienced before COVID-19.
Regional Matters

Discussion Paper
What's Behind Firms' Reported Improvements in Meeting Demand?

According to special question results from our most recent monthly business survey, Fifth District firms reported improvement in their ability to meet customer demand compared to earlier in the year. Moreover, the majority of respondents said they expect to fully meet customer demand in the next 12 months. Although firms have continued to take action to boost production, softening demand itself may be another reason for the reported improvements.
Regional Matters

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