CEOs losing optimism on jobs slowdown

'The economy seems to be just sort of bouncing along.'

U.S. chief executive officers are turning more pessimistic about a second-half recovery as rising unemployment and Europe’s debt turmoil threaten domestic growth prospects. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



NATIONAL NEWS

CEOs losing optimism on jobs slowdown

'The economy seems to be just sort of bouncing along.'

Posted 6/18/12

U.S. chief executive officers are turning more pessimistic about a second-half recovery as rising unemployment and Europe’s debt turmoil threaten domestic growth prospects.

CEOs from General Motors Co., to Hewlett-Packard Co. and Manpower Inc. say they are concerned about the health of the U.S. economy. While economists predict a continuing expansion this year and next, executives see a mounting number of obstacles that could clip growth.

U.S. employers added the fewest number of workers to their payrolls in a year last month, while companies, including Tiffany & Co. and mattress maker Tempur-Pedic International Inc., cut their full-year forecasts. European policymakers are also struggling to resolve a crisis that has tipped at least eight of the 17 euro-area economies into recession. The U.S. presidential election is another area of concern, CEOs said.

“There are so many uncertainties,” said Jeffrey Joerres, CEO of Manpower, the Milwaukee-based provider of temporary workers. “If these uncertainties keep stacking up and none get resolved, we’ll see a hiring pause rather than the current slowdown.”

After a 1.7 percent expansion last year, U.S. gross domestic product may increase by 2.2 percent in 2012 and by 2.4 percent in 2013, the median of 70 economists surveyed from June 1 to June 5 shows. The estimates are down 0.1 percentage point from those issued last month.

CEOs see jobs as a key driver of growth, even as they keep a lid on their own spending and hiring. Supervalu Inc.’s Albertsons grocery-store chain said this month it will cut as many as 2,500 jobs. Hewlett-Packard has announced the biggest round of job cuts out of any U.S. company this year, at 27,000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The economy seems to be just sort of bouncing along,” Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman said in an interview this week. “It doesn’t seem to be getting significantly better.”

Employment concerns, coupled with sinking housing prices, have made U.S. consumers reluctant to undertake big-ticket home renovations, said Lowe’s Cos. Chairman and CEO Robert Niblock. Lowe’s, the second-biggest U.S. home-improvement retailer after Home Depot Inc., is eliminating more than 500 corporate positions through voluntary buyouts this year after cutting 1,700 store-management jobs in 2011.

Next Page
No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Register today for the First Annual PBN Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Click here for more information, including the list of winners.
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News