Data & Results – Q3 2021

Oct. 14, 2021

Cost Pressures Mount Amid Widespread Supply Disruption and Labor Shortages

Three-fourths of U.S. CFOs express difficulty hiring, leading them to increase wages. Most CFOs also indicate in the third-quarter survey that their firms are experiencing supply chain disruptions that are expected to last well into 2022.

Revisions to The CFO Survey Data

CFO Survey data from Q2 2020 to Q4 2023 have been revised in accordance with an annual revision process. Revised historical data are available for download. Comparisons of revised and previously published estimates are also available.

Historical special question results are unrevised and available on archived quarterly results pages.

For more information on the annual data revision process, please refer to The CFO Survey Methodology.

  • Special Questions on Supply Chains

    The third quarter survey included special questions on whether firms were experiencing disruptions to their supply chains.

    Three-quarters of firms reported disruptions, including production delays, shipping delays, reduced availability of materials, and increased materials prices.

    Large firms are more likely to be taking action to adjust their supply chains, such as holding more inventory, diversifying or reconfiguring supply chains, moving production closer to the U.S., or changing shipping logistics. Small firms noted less “room to maneuver” and were more likely to report waiting for supply chain issues to resolve themselves.

    Less than 10 percent of respondents anticipate these supply chain difficulties will resolve by the end of this year. Most respondents anticipate these issues will not resolve until the second half of 2022 or later.

    Among firms with disruptions that have caused lost/delayed sales, their revenue has been reduced by 5 percent, on average.

    By roughly what percentage have these supply chain disruptions reduced your gross revenue in 2021?
    Percentage Reduction in Revenue for Firms with Lost and/or Delayed SalesTotal
    Large Firms
    Small Firms
    Weighted Mean5.1%4.2%7.1%
    Weighted Median3.0%3.0%5.0%
    Note: Responses are weighted by sales revenue. Firms that responded “No” to the question about lost or delayed sales were not presented with this question.
  • Special Questions on Labor Availability

    The third quarter survey included special questions on the availability of workers. Seventy-four percent of survey participants report that their companies are having difficulty filling open positions. Among these firms, 82 percent are increasing starting wages (by an average of 10 percent) in an attempt to fill these vacancies, and 33 percent are implementing or exploring automation to replace workers.

    By roughly what percentage, on average, have you raised wage/salary offerings for those open positions you’re having difficulty filling?
    Percentage Increase in Wages Among Firms Raising WagesTotal


    All Job Types
    Weighted Mean9.8%12.6%9.3%9.1%
    Weighted Median10.0%10.0%10.0%10.0%
    Note: Responses are weighted by employment. Firms that indicated they are increasing wage/salary offers were presented with this question.

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