What makes business leaders so optimistic while many workers feel otherwise? CEOs think the outlook for wages has improved and the potential for layoffs is lower. Only 12% of surveyed CEOs said they expect a workforce reduction over the next 12 months, down from a hefty 34% in the fourth quarter survey.
Also, 82% of CEOs expect the economy to improve over the next six months, a jump from 63%.
“With the vaccine rollout underway in major economies, CEOs entered 2021 historically upbeat,” said Dana Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board.
The CEOs may be onto something with their optimism. But for millions of Americas the stock market’s highs make little difference in their lives.
Economists fear the effects of long-term unemployment on the economy; the longer workers are out of a job, the less likely they are to return to work at all.
Meanwhile, many of those who have returned to work have seen their hours or wages cut, or perhaps both, as the pandemic economy exacerbates America’s inequities.