U.S. business leaders expect to cut fewer jobs and a growing number plan to sharply raise employees’ pay in the months ahead as confidence in the economic outlook surges amid the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, a survey released on Thursday showed.
The Conference Board’s “Measure of CEO Confidence” showed chief executives were the most confident they had been since 2004.
It also indicated that 36% of CEOs planned pay increases for their employees of more than 3% in the next 12 months, up from 22% in the previous survey in September. And just 12% expect to cut jobs in the next year, down from 34% previously.
The survey, conducted between Jan. 14 and Jan. 29, also found that 45% of CEOs expect to increase capital spending, up from 25% in September, and 47% plan to expand their workforce, up from 33%.
In addition, 82% of CEOs expected economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 63% in the previous survey. Those expecting conditions to worsen saw a cut from 15% to 7%.