NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chief financial officers in the United States are more optimistic about hiring in 2011 with about half expecting their companies to add jobs, according to a Bank of America-Merrill Lynch survey released on Thursday.
Forty-seven percent of the 801 top financial executives surveyed said they expect their companies to hire employees next year, up from 28 percent who expected to hire in 2010.
Only six percent said they expect layoffs, compared with nine percent last year.
The survey follows a government report last week that showed employment barely grew in November and the jobless rate unexpectedly hit a seven-month high.
Sixty-four percent of the CFOs surveyed expect revenue growth next year, up from 61 percent in last year’s survey.
They gave the overall economy a score of 47 out of 100, up from last year’s record low 44, but they were more pessimistic about the outlook for economic growth.
Fifty-six percent expect economic expansion in 2011 compared with 66 percent who forecast growth a year ago.
The CFOs said they expect healthcare reform to have the biggest impact on the economy in 2011, followed by the budget deficit and the housing market.
The executives were selected randomly from U.S. companies with annual revenues between $25 million and $2 billion.
Reporting by Kristina Cooke, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama