Hugh Bailey: Businesses that won’t support pro-business reforms

CT Post

Critics are nothing if not consistent.

Depending on what I write about, there are a few responses to this column I’m guaranteed to receive. If I write about crime, I’ll hear from people (always suburbanites) who are convinced they are in imminent danger of being murdered at any given moment. If I write about affordable housing, I’ll get people asking if I want it built in my backyard. (For the record: Yes, please.) And if I write about a general lack of housing, I’ll hear from people who say I have it backward — Connecticut needs jobs, they say; take care of that and then worry about housing.

Those respondents might be interested to know the state’s top business lobby disagrees with them.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association, which represents thousands of large and small businesses in a variety of sectors across the state, recently released its policy priorities for 2022, which focus on ways to strengthen the state economy. Atop the list is boosting the state’s anemic job growth, just 0.1 percent from 2010 to 2021.

The biggest problem? Finding and keeping workers. “Let’s address workforce challenges that have simmered for years because of our sluggish population growth,” CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima says. “Eighty percent of employers are struggling to find and retain workers, and 35 percent say the labor shortage is the greatest threat to growth.”

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