Business Managers Optimistic About '03 Job Outlook

April 7, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Despite an uncertain economy, military conflicts, and overall low total growth in employment, more than two-thirds of managers expect their companies to promote workers and to provide bonuses in 2003.

Overall a wave of good sentiment filled respondents. Nearly nine of out 10 of believe their company will grant raises sometime in the year, and another 48% foresee commissions, according to the results of the American Management Association’s (AMA) 2003 Job Outlook Survey of 376 business managers and executives.

Further, approximately 38% of respondents anticipate their organization’s US workforce to increase for the 12-month period starting January 2003. Those forecasting an increase rate the workforce growth rate at an average of about 7% per company. Even in the current US economy of high unemployment, 31% of respondents think the availability of skilled manpower in the industries from which they recruit is in short supply, and 35% see that continuing into the future.

Respondents who expect more jobs to be created at their company overwhelmingly rank greater demand (actual or anticipated) for products and services as the primary reason, with 75% foreseeing this increase. Other reasons for anticipated growth include:

  • Organizational restructuring (31%)
  • Process re-engineering (24%)
  • Automation or other technology advances (15%)
  • Transfer of work or production to other localities (10%)

Dark Clouds

Conversely, 22% anticipate a decrease in their company’s workforce, with those declines averaging about 8% and another 40% of the respondents believe their workforce will remain the same. Many of the same factors were seen on the list as the reasons for anticipated job creation were also the reasons for job elimination:

  • Organizational restructuring (44%)
  • Lower demand for products/services (40%)
  • Improved staff utilization (39%)
  • Process re-engineering (31%)
  • Automation/technology advances (22%)
  • Outsourcing Contracting (20%)
  • Transfer of work/production to other localities (13%)
  • Loss of government funding/contracts (12%)
  • Mergers/acquisition (12%)
  • Obsolete plant or office (5%).

The full results of the survey can be found at http://www.amanet.org/research/pdfs/2002_joboutlook.pdf .

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