This story from carries some weight in terms of a real economic forecast.  It isn’t good:

More of America’s largest companies will shrink their staffs than will hire in the next six months, according to the latest survey of their CEOs.

Nineteen percent of the CEOs expect to expand their work forces, while 31 percent predict a decrease in the next six months, according to a quarterly survey from the Business Roundtable released Tuesday. That’s slightly better than the 13 percent who expected increased hiring three months earlier. At that time, 40 percent forecast cuts.

Granted, the trend is good, but the actualities are not.  2010 is shaping up to be a lackluster hiring climate.  We work with CEO’s in some of our customer organizations and we are hearing similar reports.  The general consensus is to sit tight until there is some discernable signs of a recovery.  A healthcare overhaul, cap and trade and tax increases are not helping stimulate the economy (emphasis mine):

A new question on the Roundtable survey asked CEOs to identify their greatest cost pressures. The largest group — about one-third — cited health care.

One other note is the 2010 revenue forecast.  I don’t know if I have ever seen a more difficult task for our customers.  The uncertainty is astonishingly high.  One thing it does point back to – you better have strong qualifying salespeople on your team in this climate.  If not, your forecast will be replete with deals welded to the 90-day close…that never close.

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