From the Herman Trend Alert newsletter (sorry, no link):
The economic slowdown here in the United States is not having the expected effect on the demand for qualified executive talent. ExecuNet’s “2008 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report” finds that increasing demand, along with a shortage of qualified talent and sustained economic growth overseas, are driving better than expected job growth at the executive level.(http://www.execunet.com/marketreport)
The sectors with the highest demand are High Tech, Healthcare, Business Services, Pharmaceuticals/Biotech, and Energy/Utilities. The factors credited with the continuing demand for executive talent are an aging workforce and global economic growth, despite the looming threat of recession.
The report also finds, in spite of the evidence that the economy could continue to shed temporary and entry-level jobs, recruiting and retaining of executive-level talent will remain “a challenging priority” in 2008. More than 70 percent of search firms and corporate human resource professionals believe there is a shortage of executive talent, and two-thirds (67 percent) say the war for executive talent has intensified over the last year, amid increasing economic uncertainty. No longer is the United States economy the sole determinant of executive demand.
The global economy certain provides a bit more insulation to a slowdown in the U.S. economy.