- HR leaders and C-suite executives are optimistic about the economy in 2020, according to Randstad Sourceright's Business Health Index. The index, released Jan. 28, showed that positive business outlook on the economy rose 11 points over last year’s score.
- The index measures business growth in light of hiring levels, expectations, the political atmosphere’s perceived effect on business and future growth. In a survey, 65% of respondents worldwide said they hired extensively in the last 12 months. And more than 46% of respondents said they expect the political environment will positively impact their businesses, an increase over last year.
- "Historic lows in unemployment and steady job gains marked a strong 2019 for the American workforce, and human capital professionals feel that this momentum will carry into 2020," Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad global businesses and executive board member, said in a media release. "Business leaders are keeping a close eye on the political environment and how it will potentially impact their business this election year."
Not all business leaders are as optimistic about the economy, however; an ADP report from October 2019 found that with a moderate rise in wages, the labor market is showing signs of a slowdown. "After [wages accelerated] at the start of 2019, annual employment growth has leveled off to a modest 1.7 percent in September," said ADP Research Institute Co-Head Ahu Yildirmaz in a news release. "While job switchers continue to enjoy wage growth of 5.1 percent, employers appear to have reached the limit of what they are willing to pay workers to entice them to switch jobs."
Notably, in a Conference Board report released earlier this month, CEOs and executives said their top internal concern was attracting and retaining talent; their No. 1 external concern was a possible downturn in the economy.
Some may feel concerned because they're unprepared: Executives in a Vitalsmart survey warned that nearly half of their employees were ill-equipped to handle a possible recession, citing employees' lack of agility, persistence and initiative as self-starters. Employers may need to focus on preparing employees for possible adverse economic changes through training or retraining.