Feature Article - June 2008
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Here, There and Everywhere

Respondents in the South Atlantic states were the most optimistic about future revenue growth, with just under half (49.8 percent) expecting increasing revenues from 2008 to 2009. At the same time, respondents in this region are projecting the slowest growth in their operating expenditures, estimating a rise of just 11 percent from $1,504,300 in fiscal 2007 to $1,669,800. This compares with an overall change of 12.1 percent across the United States. However, the South Atlantic states did have the highest operating expenditures of all the regions for fiscal 2007, and are expected to have the highest expenditures in 2009 as well.

The Northeast and Midwest were also projecting lower-than-average increases in their operating expenditures from 2008 to 2009, at 11.5 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively. The Northeast had the lowest operating cost at just $1,163,200 in fiscal 2007.

The fastest rates of growth in operating expenditures are projected in the West and South Central states. Average operating expenditures in the South Central states are projected to grow 13.2 percent between 2007 and 2009, while in the West, those costs will grow by 13.3 percent. (See Figure 27.)

Figure 27: General Average Operating Expenditures, 2007-2009, by Region
All Types$1,386,800$1,459,300$1,554,700+12.1%
South Atlantic$1,504,300$1,554,900$1,669,800+11.0%
South Central$1,357,200$1,422,000$1,536,200+13.2%

In all regions, respondents reported operating expenditures for fiscal 2007 were greater than the projected expenditures reported in last year's survey. The largest disparity was seen among respondents in the Midwest, who reported actual operating expenditures 19.2 percent higher than their projections from last year. The smallest difference was seen in the Northeast, where respondents reported operating expenditures just 3.5 percent higher than the numbers projected in last year's survey. In all cases, respondents to this year's survey reported that their operating expenditures for fiscal 2007 were actually higher than the numbers projected for fiscal 2008 last year. For example, while last year's respondents from the South Atlantic states projected spending $1.4 million in 2008, this year's respondents actually spent $1.5 million in 2007.

Interestingly, there is wide disparity in the types and numbers of employees facilities in various regions are planning to hire. For example, while across the country, respondents of all types expect to grow the number of full-time workers by 10.9 percent, respondents in the South Central states projected a decrease of 4.3 percent, and respondents in the West said their number of full-time workers would decrease by a little more than a third. At the same time, respondents from the South Atlantic region were expecting a much sharper rise in the number of full-time workers, with an increase of nearly 49 percent within the next three years. And this is despite the fact that respondents in the South Atlantic region already employ the largest number of full-time workers. There was much less disparity between national and regional averages for part-time employees and volunteers. However, growth in the number of seasonal workers, projected at 62.9 percent nationally, will largely be driven by growth in the Northeast, where respondents projected a 243.3 percent rise in the number of seasonal workers they employ. In the West, on the other hand, respondents expect their seasonal workforce to grow by just 6.7 percent over the next three years.