Fewer U.S. companies planning to hire; Europe looms: poll

WASHINGTON Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:15am EDT

Job seekers speak to recruiters at a job fair sponsored by the New York Department of Labor in New York, June 7, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Job seekers speak to recruiters at a job fair sponsored by the New York Department of Labor in New York, June 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American companies are scaling back plans to hire workers and a rising share of firms feel the European debt crisis is taking a bite out of their sales, a survey showed on Monday.

Only 23 percent of the firms polled in June plan to add to staff in the next six months, the National Association for Business Economics said on Monday.

NABE's prior survey, conducted in late March and early April, had shown 39 percent of companies planning to add workers.

Already, hiring by U.S. companies has slowed dramatically in recent months as employers worry about a sagging global economy hurt by Europe's snowballing debt crisis.

Some economic data has suggested at least some of the hiring slowdown has been due to caution rather than a decline in business. A July 6 Labor Department report, for example, showed companies asked employees to work longer hours last month, even though they slowed the pace of hiring.

The NABE survey suggests such caution on hiring could continue.

The poll showed 47 percent of companies polled felt their sales have dropped due to Europe's woes.

Among companies that produce goods rather than provide services, the impact was even greater, with nearly four in five reporting a Europe-driven decline in revenues.

Three months earlier, only about a quarter of total firms polled thought sales had fallen.

NABE surveyed 67 of its members between June 14 and June 26. Not all responded to every question. About 40 percent of the firms surveyed have more than 1,000 employees.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Comments (9)
mulholland wrote:
They cannot afford to hire if Obama is reelected. Layoffs in that case. Massive layoffs and outsourcing.

Jul 15, 2012 12:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Eric.Klein wrote:
How is it that their lack of market in Europe, from the multiple countries that have debt problems, equates to it being Obama’s fault that no one is hiring?

Between the economic breakdown under George W Bush Jr, that we are still finding new cases of fraud and misconduct, and the decades of mismanagement in Europe, Obama is getting blamed for things that go back at least to Reagan if not further.

Jul 16, 2012 2:37am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BluePelican wrote:
American business is looking toward tens of thousands of defense contract layoffs, the Healthcare bill’s new taxes, the expiration of income tax cuts, and the “fascal cliff” in January as well as the reduced demand from Europe. Our election campaign rhetoric sounds alot like socialism vs. capitalism. There’s no wonder business is being
cautious.

Jul 16, 2012 4:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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