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US CEOs see higher pay, fewer layoffs as confidence surges

US CEOs see higher pay, fewer layoffs as confidence surges

FILE PHOTO: Hundreds of people line up outside the Kentucky Career Center, over two hours prior to its opening, to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S. June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

REUTERS: U.S. business leaders expect to cut fewer jobs and a growing number plan to sharply raise employees' pay in the months ahead as confidence in the economic outlook surges amid the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, a survey released on Thursday showed.

The Conference Board's "Measure of CEO Confidence" showed chief executives were the most confident they had been since 2004.

It also indicated that 36per cent of CEOs planned pay increases for their employees of more than 3per cent in the next 12 months, up from 22per cent in the previous survey in September. And just 12per cent expect to cut jobs in the next year, down from 34per cent previously.

The survey, conducted between Jan. 14 and Jan. 29, also found that 45per cent of CEOs expect to increase capital spending, up from 25per cent in September, and 47per cent plan to expand their workforce, up from 33per cent.

The report may foreshadow a long-hoped-for improvement in a U.S. labor market that is still deeply scarred by the pandemic and its disruptions to businesses and everyday life.

A Labor Department report released on Thursday showed first-time filings for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week and that as of the end of January, more than 18 million people without work were still receiving some kind of government jobless benefit.

(Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Paul Simao)

Source: Reuters

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