Commentary: Privately held companies are upbeat. They’re more positive about the nation’s economic activity than they’ve been in nearly a decade, and 73% of the private company executives surveyed for PwC US’s quarterly Trendsetter Barometer Business Outlooksurvey describe the US economy as growing. Revenues are up, collapsed oil prices are reducing cost pressures, and low interest rates are sparking investments that should sustain growth. While the outlook is a bit gloomier for companies with operations abroad because of a comparatively weaker global economy, general optimism about business prospects abounds. So, for employees and prospective employees of these companies, 2015 should be sunny, right? Not entirely. 

Findings taken from PwC’s most recent Trendsetter Barometerindicate that these executives are still struggling to find employees with the skills they need. If this talent gap persists, it could inhibit future growth, they feel. Already, the operating capacity at some of these companies is strained, making demand difficult to meet. Consequently, more companies appear to be working close to their permanent staffing and operations limits. The barrier for many companies that anticipate geographic expansion in the future over the next five years is ultimately finding the right employees and training them.

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