CEOs say they'll start hiring

Wednesday, March 03, 2004 | 04:25 PM


As we've pointed out far too many times, payroll improvements are lagging far beyond the normal post recession patterns.

Nonfarm Payrolls (% change from recession end)

Source: Chart of the Day, February 10, 2004

Today, in a survey from the Business Roundtable, CEOs are saying they will finally be hiring. As the chart above makes clear, this is long overdue. As we have seen, however, there is a big difference between what people say and what they actually do:

"For the first time in at least a year and a half, more top executives plan to increase employment in the United States over the next six months than plan to cut it, according to a survey released today by the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group. Thirty-three percent of the executives said they would add jobs, up from just 12 percent in October, while 22 percent said they would reduce their payrolls.

"C.E.O.'s believe that the U.S. economy is on course for continued steady improvement," said Hank A. McKinnell, chairman of the Roundtable and chief executive of Pfizer, the drug company.

But Dr. McKinnell added that he still did not expect job growth this year to reach the levels of past recoveries, largely because companies have become more efficient and can produce more goods with fewer hands. Asked if he expected the economy to add 200,000 to 300,000 jobs a month, as it did through parts of the 1980's and 90's, Dr. McKinnell said, "We're not quite that bullish at this point." But he added, "We're headed in that direction."

Even though GDP grew rapidly during the second half of last year -- especially Q3 -- employment growth continues to be meager. From July to January, the economy added only 56,000 jobs a month, on average -- far too few to keep up with population growth.

Friday brings the highlight of the week in the February employment report, and Economists are expecting the BLS to report 125,000 - 150,000 new jobs. Though still below population growth, it would be the biggest gain since late 2000.

My friend Brian Reynolds, Chief Market Strategist of M.S. Howells & Co , notes that "While a strong employment number is possible, the higher the whisper number goes, the harder it will be to have an upside payroll surprise and the easier it will be to have a disappointment. In any event, one strong payroll number will not cause the Fed to tighten and, if new orders continue to roll over, it will become harder for strong employment gains to persist."

Couldn't have said it any better myself.

Chief Executives Expect to Increase Hiring, Survey Says
N.Y. Times, March 3, 2004

Business Roundtable Releases March Economic Outlook Survey
Release Date: 3.3.04

Wednesday, March 03, 2004 | 04:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CEOs say they'll start hiring:

» CEO's Say They'll Start Hiring from Industry - The Joe Hill Dispatch - Journal of Business, Finance and Economics
Barry Ritholtz writes in the Big Picture: Today, in a survey from the Business Roundtable, CEOs are saying they will finally be hiring. As the... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 3, 2004 5:49:56 PM

» Bush's Leadership on Jobs sure is Steady, and Max Coins the Word of the Month from Barefoot And Naked
Yes, yes, the new jobs report is out and it ain't pretty. Comrade Max sums it up this way: MaxSpeak, You Listen!: ALL THE PRESIDENT'S JOBS: JESUS H. CHRIST! We are amazed at how suckful the latest jobs report is.... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 5, 2004 4:41:52 PM


Nice chart, interesting comments, thanks!

Posted by: Mats | Mar 4, 2004 3:11:53 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

Recent Posts

December 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Complete Archives List



Category Cloud

On the Nightstand

On the Nightstand

 Subscribe in a reader

Get The Big Picture!
Enter your email address:

Read our privacy policy

Essays & Effluvia

The Apprenticed Investor

Apprenticed Investor

About Me

About Me
email me

Favorite Posts

Tools and Feeds

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe to The Big Picture

Powered by FeedBurner

Add to Technorati Favorites


My Wishlist

Worth Perusing

Worth Perusing

mp3s Spinning

MP3s Spinning

My Photo



Odds & Ends

Site by Moxie Design Studios™