Companies in the U.S. plan to boost hiring even as confidence in the economy eases, a quarterly survey of chief financial officers showed today.
The index of executives’ confidence in the world’s largest economy fell to 56 in the second quarter from a one-year high of 59 in the previous three months, according to a report issued today by Duke University/CFO Magazine. The executives said they plan to increase payrolls by 2.5 percent over the next 12 months, up from 2.1 percent reported in the previous survey.
“CFOs indicate a level of hiring that would reduce the national unemployment rate to near 7 percent within a year, if all else remains constant,” said Kate O’Sullivan, CFO Magazine’s editorial director. “More than one out of four U.S. CFOs say their employees are maxed out, so the planned increase in payrolls is long overdue.”
The figures are at odds with a report last week that showed slower job growth. Payrolls climbed by 69,000 workers in May, less than the most-pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, after a revised 77,000 gain in April that was smaller than initially estimated, according to the June 1 data from the Labor Department. The jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent.
A 2.5 percent increase would represent a gain of about 2.78 million private payroll jobs, which exclude government agencies, or about 231,000 a month over the next year. Companies boosted staff levels by 2.1 million workers in 2011.
The results are based on responses from 444 U.S. CFOs in a survey concluded May 30.
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