Labor shortage poses biggest threat to US economy, most CFOs say

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CFO less optimistic about US economic outlook in one year

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NS US economy The US is poised for a strong recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, but faces new risks from widespread labor shortages and rising infections amid non-vaccination, according to a survey by US CFOs.

Although 78% of CFOs surveyed by the Deloitte Global CFO Program said the economic situation in North America is “good” or “very good” – an increase over the previous quarter – only 54% feel the outlook has improved during the period. There is bound to be improvement. next year.

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The decline in optimism reflects economic uncertainty resulting from several external factors such as the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, delays in return to work, inflation and supply chain disruption, among other issues.

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Internally, CFOs cited difficulty attracting and retaining labor and a potential slowdown in return to work as the biggest risks facing their businesses.

“Talent and labor has been a perennial internal risk as cited by CFOs in our quarterly surveys,” Deloitte said. “This quarter, however, concerns over talent and labor and a host of related issues — from retention to morale, dissatisfaction and rising wages — are even more pronounced among CFOs.”

Labor Department figures show a growing gap between job openings and hiring suggests that companies are scrambling to find workers, even though unemployment is still above pre-pandemic levels. In July, there were a record 10.9 million open jobs in the US, compared to about 8.7 million unemployed workers. i.e. about 1.25 jobs for every unemployed person; For comparison, before the pandemic, there are more job opportunities in every industry than in February 2020.

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Critics blame expanded federal jobless aid, which provided an additional $300 a week on top of regular state benefits to Americans out of work, for the labor shortage, though economists blamed health concerns and difficulty finding child care. pointed out also. many schools still closed

Extended unemployment benefits officially ended on September 6.

The CFO also indicated that their business was affected by supply chain constraints or delays. More than 40% of respondents said the disruptions induced by the pandemic have forced their businesses to increase their costs by at least 5%. Another 60% said this year’s sales have either dropped or will be up by the end of the year.

Overall, nearly two-thirds of CFOs — 66% — said they are more optimistic about their companies’ prospects than they were three months ago. That’s down about 10 percent from the previous quarter, when 75% said they were more optimistic.

The survey of 96 CFOs was conducted between August 2 and August 14.


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