Published in Economic Development

Survey: Few biz leaders expect increased hiring, investment in next 6-12 months

BY Wednesday, July 29, 2020 03:03pm

Fewer than one in five executives expect to add jobs or expand capital investments over the next six to 12 months, according to a recent survey by Business Leaders for Michigan.

A little more than half of the executives expect the U.S. to perform better during the same period, and fewer see Michigan’s economy moving higher as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, according to results from the business roundtable’s survey of top corporate executives and university presidents.

Business Leaders for Michigan CEO Doug Rothwell COURTESY PHOTO

“There is no question that we’re going through a period of great uncertainty right now,” said Business Leaders for Michigan CEO Doug Rothwell. “The best way to return our economy to full health is to mitigate the spread of the virus by wearing masks, washing hands and keeping distance from others as much as possible.”

Among survey respondents, 17.7 percent said they expect “better” or “higher” hiring at their company in the next six to 12 months, and 31.1 expect “worse” or “lower” hiring. The remaining 51.1 percent expect their hiring to remain “about the same.”

“It shouldn’t be a surprise there has been some pullback in hiring and investment based on the conditions the pandemic has created,” Rothwell said. “But it’s important to highlight that nearly 70 percent of Michigan’s largest companies still expect to be hiring at the same rate or even more over the next six to 12 months.”

Four in 10 executives responding to the survey expect to make lower capital investments while 44.4 percent expect “about the same.” The remaining 15.5 percent predict they’ll make higher capital investments in the business through mid-2021.

Just 15.5 percent of executives surveyed expect Michigan’s economy to improve over six to 12 months while one-third see it performing at “about the same” level. The other 51.1 percent expect the state’s economy to worsen.

Nationally, 26.6 percent expect better economic performance for the U.S., and one in five expect the U.S. economy to perform “about the same.” The other 53.3 percent see the U.S. economy worsening.

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