Two new surveys of corporate financial executives suggest an uptick in hiring is looming despite misgivings about the economy.
The latest quarterly survey of chief financial officers by Duke University and CFO Magazine, released Tuesday, found that they anticipate boosting full-time employment at their companies by 1.8 percent over the next 12 months, up from eight-tenths of a percent in the previous quarter.
A nearly 2 percent increase in hiring would lower the nation's unemployment rate below the 7 percent mark.
A quarterly survey of business executives by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that 15 percent of those polled reported that they are planning to hire new employees over the next 12 months, up from 12 percent the previous quarter and 9 percent a year ago.
We’ve seen expectations on hiring and business expansion gain steadily throughout the year,” said Arleen R. Thomas, AICPA’s senior vice president of management accounting and global markets. “Our latest survey results support that but also show some renewed concern about prospects for the U.S. economy.”
Companies with more than $1 billion in revenue were the most likely to report that they don't have enough employees, according to AICPA. Slightly more than half of the business executives said their companies have the appropriate number of employees.
In addition, 19 percent reported they are reluctant to hire new staff even though they have too few employees.
The Duke/CFO survey found that 40 percent of chief financial officers are worried that the stock market is facing a downward correction.
"The CFOs are telling us the stock market is overvalued," Campbell Harvey, a finance professor at Duke, said in a prepared statement. "This is extraordinary because usually they argue that their own stock is undervalued. CFOs expect a correction and this correction is one of the major risk factors they face in the short term."
Despite the overall upbeat outlook for increased hiring of full-time workers, 59 percent of CFOs report that temporary and part-time workers are an increased percentage of their workforce.
Thirty-eight percent of those shifting away from full-time employment attributed it in part to the Affordable Care Act. In addition, 44 percent say they are hiring more temporary workers in response to uncertainty about the economy.
The Duke/CFO survey included 530 CPAs across the U.S. and concluded Sept. 6.
AICPA surveyed 1,228 CPA who have leadership roles in the companies, such as chief financial officer or controller, from Aug. 13 to Aug. 29. AICPA has more than 500 employees in Durham.