Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Gov. Kitzhaber's freeze on Oregon government hiring is indicative of a larger hiring slowdown. Two-thirds of CEOs of the largest U.S. companies don't plan to hire in the next six months.
The Business Roundtable said Tuesday that about one-third of its member CEOs expect to add employees and spend more on large equipment in the next six months. That's little changed from three months ago.
The group predicted in its quarterly outlook survey that the economy will expand 2 percent next year. That's not enough to produce job growth. Instead, existing employees will be expected to handle any increased business.
"We're right at the point where the economy is growing, but not enough to offset productivity and create jobs," said the group's chairman, Jim McNerney, CEO of the Boeing Co. "Everybody's doing things more efficiently."
New and smaller companies, more than the big multinationals surveyed by the roundtable, tend to drive job creation, particularly in economic recoveries. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees have created about 65 percent of jobs in the past 20 years.
Europe's financial crisis is a major concern for the roundtable's members, McNerney said. About 14 percent of revenue for the 500 biggest U.S. companies comes from Europe, Standard & Poor's estimates.
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