Business Briefs

60 percent of U.S. firms to boost hiring, Duke survey finds

Posted June 6, 2012

— Saying many of their employees are "maxed out," U.S. companies plan to boost hiring by 2.5 percent over the next year, chief financial officers say in a new survey from Duke University and CFO Magazine.

“More than one out of four U.S. CFOs say their employees are maxed out, so the planned increase in payrolls is long overdue,” said Kate O’Sullivan, editorial director at CFO Magazine.

Based on the survey of more than 800 CFOs from private and public companies, the Duke-CFO report projects that U.S. unemployment will decline to "near 7 percent withing a year, if all else remains constant," O'Sullivan said.

The U.S. jobless rate climbed to 8.2 percent in May.

However, despite the plans to increase hiring, CFO optimism about the economy declined from a score of 59 from the last quarter to 56 for the July-September time frame. The maximum score is 100.

"Most firms continue to stockpile cash because of great economic uncertainty," the Duke-CFO report says.

“The drop in optimism is a bit worrisome for the U.S. because historically a drop in optimism foretells slower economic activity over the next year,” said John Graham, a Duke Fuqua School of Business professor and director of the survey. “On top of that, falling Asian, European and Latin American optimism confirms that the world economy is slowing. Combined with reduced plans for U.S. capital spending, overall domestic economic growth will likely continue to soften over the next year even as hiring ticks up slightly.”

The global economic outlook also declined for the coming quarter, slipping to a score of 58 from 65 for Asia and 52 from 54 for Europe. The Latin America score remained at 54.

It's the first time in the 16-year history of the survey that the Asian and U.S. optimism scores are "nearly the same," the authors noted.

Corporate earnings are expected to grow 11 percent.

In good news for high-tech firms, technology spending is expected to increase 8 percent.

Overall capital spending is forecast to grow 5 percent, a decline from 7 percent or more from the previous two surveys.

Advertising spending is projected to grow by 3 percent.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • davidgnews Jun 6, 2012

    Boost hiring where in particular -overseas?

  • davidgnews Jun 6, 2012

    Pure air here.

  • hardycitrus Jun 6, 2012

    Unless Romney is elected and rubber stamps the Ryan budget (European style austerity), triggering a global depression.

  • meeper Jun 6, 2012

    I'd be real suspicious of those numbers coming out of Duke. A typical reelect Obama mouthpiece.

  • grimreaper Jun 6, 2012

    "Nor does it say if they are building manufacturing plants on Mars….what was your point again?" --WooHoo2You

    Not obvious to you?...60% of nothing is nothing...perhaps you should forget about Mars and think more about your every other country in the world does...

  • WooHoo2You Jun 6, 2012 mentions nothing about hiring Americans...-grimreaper

    Nor does it say if they are building manufacturing plants on Mars….what was your point again?

  • grimreaper Jun 6, 2012 mentions nothing about hiring Americans...

  • greatbrit Jun 6, 2012

    60%...yeah and pigs will fly.