Labor Shortages and Talent Retention Are the Top Concerns for CEOs

Staffing Industry Analysts (01/12/23)

Inflation eased in December. CEOs reported slower growth is a top concern along with a recession. Jobless claims declined.


Inflation cooled in December, according to monthly numbers out today.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers fell 0.1% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is the first time prices have dropped month over month since May 2020, The Washington Post reported. And while the index was still up 6.5% year over year (before seasonal adjustment), that was the slowest annual increase since October 2021.

Gasoline was the largest contributor to December’s decrease in the CPI, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released the index today.

CEO survey

Slower economic growth/recession in 2023 is the top external worry for CEOs in the US and globally, according to a survey by The Conference Board.

Other concerns include inflation, rising interest rates, Covid-related issues, cyberattacks and geopolitical disruption.

On an internal basis, labor shortages and talent retention are the top internal concerns for CEOs worldwide and rank second for US CEOs.

“While CEOs globally are looking to contain costs and reduce discretionary spending — actions typically taken during a slowdown — employees may be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as few executives are turning to layoffs,” said Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board. “Instead, they plan to mitigate risk by accelerating innovation and digital transformation, pursuing new opportunities in higher-growth markets and revising business models — the three most-cited actions.”

The report found 60% of US CEOs and 51% of CEOs worldwide expect a tepid year ahead, with their economies only picking back up by late 2023 or mid-2024.

The findings also reveal that a recession won’t prompt a majority of US CEOs, 55%, to limit their companies’ environmental, social and governance investments in 2023.

The survey also found 5% of CEOs in the US plan to expand remote work, and 3% plan to reduce it. Globally, 8% plan to expand remote work, and 3% plan to reduce it.

CEOs are also planning to increase investments in customer experience, new customer acquisition and new product development over the next two years.

The Conference Board survey reflects the perspectives of nearly 700 CEOs and more than 450 other C-suite executives.

Jobless claims

US initial jobless claims dropped by 1,000 last week to a total of 205,000, the US Department of Labor reported today. The previous week’s level was revised upward by 2,000.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast 210,000 applications for the latest week, MarketWatch reported.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of claims fell by 1,750 in the week ended Jan. 7 to a level of 212,500.

This article originally appeared on Use this link to see the full article: ECONOMY: INFLATION COOLS; SLOWER GROWTH IS TOP WORRY FOR EXECS; JOBLESS CLAIMS DOWN