A 1995 survey revealed that a growing number of small and midsize companies find labor issues to be among the most significant obstacles to their growth and survival. The companies that were the leaders in revenue, profit, and employment growth were affected by that trend most acutely, with 35% reporting a lack of qualified workers as one of their biggest challenges.

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Percentages of respondents indicating that the issues cited were among their most significant challenges:

1993 1994 1995
Labor costs 29% 35% 37%
Lack of qualified workers 13% 20% 25%
Cost of training workers 8% 8% 10%
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Source: "Survey of Small and Mid-Sized Businesses, Trends for 1995"; Arthur Andersen's Enterprise Group, St. Louis; and National Small Business United, Washington, D.C.