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Fall 2006 Business Climate Survey

Total Respondents: 191


Section I: Business Climate

1. In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Better 12.0% 23
Same 52.9% 101
Worse 34.0% 65
No Opinion 1.0% 2
Total Respondents    191
(skipped this question)   0

2. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you think business conditions will be better, the same, or worse than they are now?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Better 15.2% 29
Same 41.7% 90
Worse 35.1% 67
No Opinion 2.6% 5
Total Respondents    191
(skipped this question)    0

3. Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower, than they were SIX MONTHS AGO?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Higher 15.9% 30
Same 66.1% 125
Lower 16.9% 32
No Opinion 1.1% 2
Total Respondents    189
(skipped this question)   2

4. LOOKING AHEAD SIX MONTHS, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Higher 15.7% 30
Same 69.6% 133
Lower 12.6% 24
No Opinion 2.1% 4
Total Respondents    191
(skipped this question)   0

5. Have your company's sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the PAST SIX MONTHS?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Increased 34.4% 65
Same 32.8% 62
Decreased 30.7% 58
No Opinion 2.1% 4
Total Respondents   189
(skipped this question)    2

6. Do you expect your company's sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the COMING SIX MONTHS?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Increase 37.2% 71
Same 40.3% 77
Decrease 19.9% 38
No Opinion 2.6% 5
Total Respondents    191
(skipped this question)   0

7. At any point in the PAST SIX MONTHS has your company considered moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Did move some operations 3.2% 3
Considered moving some operations 7.9% 15
Considered moving all operations 5.8% 11
Moved operations into Pennsylvania 0% 0
Didn't consider any moves 83.2% 158
Total Respondents   190
(skipped this question)   1

8. Do you foresee at any point in the COMING SIX MONTHS your company considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
May move all operations 4.2% 8
May move some operations 7.9% 15
Not considering any moves 85.2% 161
May move operations INTO Pennsylvania 2.6% 5
Total Respondents   189
(skipped this question)   2

9. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following individuals?

  Positive Negative No Opinion Response
Percent
President George W. Bush 65% (122) 28% (52) 7% (13) 187
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke 41% (75) 11% (21) 48% (89) 185
U.S. Senator Arlen Specter 26% (48) 54% (100) 20% (38) 186
U.S. Senator Rick Santorum 70% (131) 20% (38) 10% (18) 187
Governor Ed Rendell 19% (36) 73% (135) 8% (15) 186
State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. 8% (15) 64% (119) 28% (51) 185
Attorney General Tom Corbett 19% (35) 7% (13) 74% (137) 185
Auditor General Jack Wagner 8% (14) 5% (9) 88% (161) 184
Total Respondents        188
(skipped this question)       3

10. In general, do you have a POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NO OPINION of the job performance of the following institutions?

  Positive Negative No Opinion Response
Percent
United States Senate 21% (39) 68% (27) 12% (22) 188
United States House of Representatives 29% (55) 58% (109) 13% (24) 188
Pennsylvania Senate 19% (35) 63% (119) 10% (34) 188
Pennsylvania House of Representatives 17% (32) 63% (118) 20% (37) 187
Total Respondents       188
(skipped this question)       3

2. Section II: Issues

11. Would you describe recent state business tax cuts as being Very Signficant, Somewhat Significant, Somewhat Insignificant, or Totally Insignificant?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Very Significant 4.4% 8
Somewhat Significant 29.3% 53
Somewhat Insignificant 35.4% 64
Very Insignificant 26.0% 47
Refused/No Opinion 5.0% 9
Total Respondents   181
(skipped this question)   10

12. Would you describe the property tax reform measure passed recently by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor to be Very Significant, Somewhat Significant, Somewhat Insignificant, Totally Insignificant?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Very Significant 3.9% 7
Somewhat Significant 20.6% 37
Somewhat Insignificant 21.1% 38
Very Insignificant 47.2% 85
Refused/No Opinion 7.2% 13
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   11

13. Will the recently approved state increase in the required minimum wage cause you to hire more, about the same number, or fewer employees?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
More 0.0% 0
About the Same Number 58.3% 105
Fewer 28.3% 51
REFUSED/NO OPINION 13.3% 24
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   11

14. Do you think the General Assembly should continue or discontinue the practice of returning to session AFTER the November election to conduct business?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Return After The Election 41.6% 83
Do Not Return After The Election 21.1% 38
Makes No Difference 25.0% 45
Refused/No Opinion 7.8% 14
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   11

15. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that the state constitution should be amended to limit the annual increase in state spending to the rate of inflation plus population growth?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Strongly Agree 38.7% 70
Somewhat Agree 35.9% 65
Somewhat Disagree 11.6% 21
Strongly Disagree 6.6% 12
No Opinion/Refused 7.2% 12
Total Respondents   181
(skipped this question)   10

16. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that the quality of potential employees available to you would be better if parents in Pennsylvania were given more educational choices for their children, such as more charter schools?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Strongly Agree 38.2% 68
Somewhat Agree 35.4% 63
Somewhat Disagree 9.0% 16
Strongly Disagree 9.0% 16
No Opinion/Refused 8.4% 15
Total Respondents   178
(skipped this question)   13

17. Do you think Pennsylvania's roads and bridges are in:

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Great Shape 0.0% 0
Good Shape 7.2% 13
OK Shape 35.9% 65
Poor Shape 39.2% 71
Awful Shape 17.1% 31
REFUSED/DON'T KNOW 0.6% 1
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   10

18. special commission is recommending to the Governor and General Assembly that significant amounts of new revenue be dedicated to fund mass transit along with highway and bridge repair in Pennsylvania. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that significiant new dollars need to be spent on the state's transportation infrastrucutre.

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Strongly Agree 27.1% 49
Somewhat Agree 50.3% 91
Somewhat Disagree 12.2% 22
Strongly Disagree 9.9% 18
No opinion/refused 0.6% 1
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   11

19. The state's major transit agencies (SEPTA and PAT) run annual deficits. To cover the deficits do you think they should be given additional tax revenue, cut service, or streamline their operations?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Be Given Additional Tax Revenue 5.5% 10
Cut Service 4.4% 8
Streamline Operations 74.0% 134
All Of The Above 13.3% 24
No Answere/Refused 2.8% 5
Total Respondents   181
(skipped this question)   10

20. How important do you think mass transit is to Pennsylvania's economy?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Very Important 24.3% 44
Somewhat Important 50.8% 92
Somewhat Unimportant 12.2% 22
Very Unimportant 10.5% 19
No Opinion/Refused 2.2% 4
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   11

21. How important is it that we improve the quality of our roads and bridges in Pennsylvania?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Very Important 51.9% 94
Somewhat Important 42.0% 76
Somewhat Unimportant 4.4% 8
Very Unimportant 1.7% 3
No Opinion/Refused 0% 0
Total Respondents   181
(skipped this question)   10

22. If taxes are raised to provide additional funding to mass transit along with highway and bridge repairs, which taxes do you think should be increased?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Gasoline Taxes 21.7% 39
Personal Income Taxes 2.8% 5
Corporate Net Income Taxes 1.1% 2
Sales Taxes 13.9% 25
No Taxes Should Be Increased 44.4% 80
DON'T KNOW/REFUSED 4.4% 8
Other (View Responses) 11.7% 21
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   10

23. If the election for United States Senator from Pennsylvania were held today, would you vote for Republican Rick Santorum or Democrat Bob Casey, Jr.?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Rick Santorum 79.8% 142
Bob Casey, Jr. 12.2% 22
REFUSED/NO OPINION 8.9% 16
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   11

24. If the election for Governor of Pennsylvania were held today, would you vote for Democrat Ed Rendell or Republican Lynn Swann?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Ed Rendell 16.0% 29
Lynn Swann 72.4% 131
REFUSED/NO OPINION 11.6% 21
Total Respondents   181
(skipped this question)   10

25. General speaking, what do you think is the single most important problem/issue facing Pennsylvania today?

Total Respondents
(View Responses)
 141
(skipped this question) 50

26. In what part of Pennsylvania is your business located?

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Northwest PA 8.3% 15
Southwest PA 12.2% 22
Northcentral PA 10.6% 19
Altoona/Johnstown 11.1% 20
Southcentral/Harrisburg 18.3% 33
Southeastern PA 17.2% 31
Lehigh Valley 2.2% 4
Northeastern PA 20.0% 36
Total Respondents   180
(skipped this question)   11

27. Which category best describes your position at the business in which your work:

  Response
Percent
Response
Percent
Owner 74.0% 134
CEO/COO/CFO 13.3% 24
State manager 1.7% 3
Local Manager 4.4% 8
DON'T KNOW/REFUSED 2.8% 5
Other (View Responses) 30.9% 7
Total Respondents   181
(skipped this question)   10

Taking the Pulse of Pennsylvania