Atlanta, GA – March 5, 2014 – When it comes to skilled workers in high-demand fields, many small and mid-sized business (SMB) leaders support easing immigration requirements to fill those roles, according to a survey from Lucas Group, North America’s premier executive search firm. The Q4 SMB Job Generation Outlook also revealed what areas of the country and industry segments agree the most with the sentiment.

The quarterly survey, which gathered insights from 400 SMB top executives from across the country, revealed that 51 percent of respondents were in favor of easing immigration requirements for skilled workers in IT, science and other high-demand fields. The Q4 numbers were higher compared to the first quarter of 2013, when 44 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.

This sentiment was strongest in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S., where 55 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that restrictions should be eased for high-skill workers. Across industries, the IT sector reported the strongest support of easing skilled worker immigration with nearly 70 percent of leaders agreeing with the opinion. The business services and the financial/insurance sectors followed with 62 and 60 percent, respectively, in favor of skilled worker easements.

SMB leaders did not feel the same way about easing restrictions for laborers in manufacturing. Agreement shifted downward to 44 percent overall, although respondents in the manufacturing industry reported having the hardest time finding qualified candidates to fill open positions.

“Understanding the needs of small and mid-sized businesses in attracting and retaining a productive labor force is critical to strengthening our economy through job growth,” said Scott Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Lucas Group. “Our goal with the SMB quarterly report is to provide that insight and demonstrate how federal actions and policies are profoundly influencing the hiring and growth plans of American SMBs.”

Each quarter, the report examines how national concerns are impacting SMBs. In the fourth quarter, 60 percent of respondents ranked the federal government as having the most impact on their business, over both state and local government.

The SMB Job Generation Outlook gathers insights from leaders of the nation’s small and mid-sized businesses on hiring and economic trends. Earlier this quarter, Lucas Group revealed that SMB hiring plans were strongest in the Southeast and West/Southwest and for the consumer services and automotive industries.

The quarterly survey is conducted by Lucas Group in coordination with Polaris Marketing Research and Dr. Goutam Challagalla, Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Business. For the full Q4 SMB Job Generation Outlook, click here.

About the Survey
Conducted quarterly, the SMB Job Generation Outlook is a national survey of SMB top business leaders. The Q3 survey was conducted by Polaris Market Research on behalf of Lucas Group from Oct. 1-Oct. 11, 2013. Each of the 400 respondents was a CEO, president and/or owner of their company. The survey covered a wide variety of industries with manufacturing, finance/insurance/real estate and business services having the strongest presence. Forty-six percent of the respondents reported annual revenue in the $50 to $150 million range. The majority of respondents (58 percent) are from private companies; 19 percent are family-owned; 16 percent are public; and 7 percent are owned by private equity.

About Lucas Group
Lucas Group is North America’s premier executive search firm. Since 1970, our culture and methodologies have driven superior results. We assist clients ranging in size from small to medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies find transcendent, executive talent; candidates fully realize their ambitions; and associates find professional success. To learn more, please visit Lucas Group at and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

For additional information, please contact:
Alicia Deedy, Marketing Project Lead