Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall as the captains of industry smoked cigars and spoke candidly about their plans?
Be careful what you wish for. The Daily Pulse almost flatlined today when two-thirds of CEOs surveyed told The Business Roundtable they don't plan on hiring for the next six months.
Slow growth at home and turmoil abroad have big business fearful of adding jobs. In a conference call, Business Roundtable and Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney told reporters that instability in Europe and the failure of the Congressional supercommittee to reduce the U.S. deficit were making the business landscape too uncertain to start hanging 'help wanted' signs.
Jim McNerney: I think the challenge –- and this is also what’s reflected in the results [of the BRT survey] -– is that the economy is not yet moving fast enough to significantly create new jobs on a sustainable basis. In other words, we’re growing fast enough to absorb the productivity but not yet fast enough to drive employment as fast as we’d all like. It’s sort of a slow, slow recovery.
Yet another log on the bonfire of employment woes for out-of-work Americans.
The upshot here: CEOs aren’t always right. According to Christopher Rugaber, an economics writer at the Associated Press, it’s the little guys who’ve taken a leadership role in hiring.
“New and smaller companies, more than the big multinationals surveyed by the roundtable, tend to drive job creation, particularly in economic recoveries,” Rugaber writes. “Businesses with fewer than 500 employees have created about 65 percent of jobs in the past 20 years.”
If CEOs of monolithic companies were always right, we’d be emailing friends photos of our new Ford Edsels from our AOL accounts.