jobsA survey released by Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of major corporations, showed a significant decrease in the number of large companies that plan to hire more employees or add more jobs.

The group’s CEO Economic Outlook Index dropped from 89.1 in the second quarter to 66 in the third; it is the third-sharpest drop in the survey’s decade-long history. The previous decrease was in 2009 following the nation’s recession. The survey of consisted of 138 CEOs whose companies generate $7.3 trillion in annual revenue and employ around 16 million people. It was conducted from Aug. 30 through Sept. 14.

Survey results included:

  • 34 percent of U.S. CEOs expect to cut jobs in the nation over the next six months, a 14 percent increase from the second quarter.
  • Views on capital spending and sales growth weakened; 30 percent plan to raise capital spending, down from 43 percent.
  • 58 percent expect their sales to rise over that time period, a decrease from the previous survey’s 75 percent.
  • Concerns about U.S. fiscal cliff also darken outlook.

“These results reflect global demand flattening out, particularly in Europe and China, but also a number of domestic policy issues that could have an immediate negative impact on the economy,” said James McNerney, CEO of Boeing Co. and chairman of the Roundtable. “The so-called fiscal cliff and the uncertainty attendant to it certainly is cold water on long-term planning.”

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