The US economy has been slowly but steadily recovering for years, and there are increasing signs of optimism, particularly among consumers, who are increasingly confident in the economy, and in housing, where prices continue to rise. Despite that, hiring’s been extremely sluggish. The overall trend is positive, but unemployment is stubbornly high at 7.9 per cent.
Many companies and executives aren’t willing to commit to big hiring pushes when there are so many unknowns about the economy and government policy. There are some parts of the economy that are actually contracting, J.P. Morgan announced that it will cut 17,000 jobs over the next two years, and retailers like J.C. Penney and Best Buy have recently let people go.
But some companies are beginning to believe in the recovery. This morning, Deloitte CEO Joseph Echevarria told Bloomberg’s Tom Keene that that the professional services giant plans to hire “about 18,000 people this year.”
He said that despite continuing uncertainty over things like coming automatic cuts to the federal budget and the deficit in general, it’s time to look forward.
“You make some decisions based on investing in the future and your value proposition,” Echevarria said. “As long as you bring value to corporate America and certainty, you can hire and create jobs.”
Pretty much every company has to hire auditors and accountants to look over their books, so this is a sign that even though times are tough in some industries, there’s big potential in the economy as a whole.
Most of those jobs are in two specific areas. “We’re always looking for the high end auditors who really have skills, and we’re looking for STEM, scientists, technologists, engineers and maths. That is a shortage, and we’re looking for them every day,” Echevarria said.
The problem, of course, is that those people are notoriously hard to find. He said that about half of the people seeking advanced degrees in STEM in US universities are foreign nationals and that we “don’t hang on to them.”
Deloitte is betting on the recovery and its future, but there’s more that could be done to step on the gas and promote hiring.
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