SOURCE: Chief Executive Magazine

July 06, 2007 08:30 ET

CEO Confidence Index Points to a Sharp Increase in Confidence About Future Employment in the U.S.

MONTVALE, NJ--(Marketwire - July 6, 2007) - The Chief Executive Magazine CEO Confidence Index, which measures the confidence of chief executives about specific areas of the economy, rose 4.3 points in June to 160.8 according to 233 top executives surveyed.

Of all the component confidence measures that comprise the aggregate number -- employment, investment and business conditions -- the Employment Confidence Index was the one that saw the most dramatic increase, almost doubling the jump of the overall Index, rising by 8.2 points. In a sharp increase that hasn't been seen since November 2006, 36.6 percent of the CEOs indicated that they plan to hire more employees in the next quarter.

Chief Executive's CEO Index is viewed as a leading economic indicator -- The CEO Index is viewed as a leading indicator -- leading the government figures by approximately four months -- thus pointing to a potential overheating of the labor market over the next quarter. As one CEO indicated, "This is an employee's market." That sentiment reflected the feelings of other CEOs that employees have the upper hand in the current labor market.

Confidence in current market conditions was another area that experienced a strong increase; the Current Confidence Index rose by 4.3 points. Typical of executive confidence, Phillip J. Kuhlenbeck, CEO & Managing Partner of the JAYSA Group, noted, "We are bullish on overall business conditions, investment opportunities and economic growth that the US will experience over the next quarter."

Chief Executive Magazine also conducted additional polling to further examine the hiring dynamics inside corporate America. Specifically, CEOs were asked about their plans for recruiting recent college graduates. Responses were in line with confidence in the overall employment market: 81.8 percent stated that they will either maintain the current hiring levels or increase them.

"Although CEOs are uncertain of what the future holds, they definitely see strength in the economy right now and are filling out their organizations accordingly," said Edward M. Kopko, CEO and Publisher of Chief Executive Magazine.

Among the academic focus areas deemed most valuable by CEOs were Economics/Business, Engineering, and Computer Science. Philosophy, Cultural Studies, and Biology ranked among the least valuable.

Harvard University professor and consultant Milan Boran attributes the poll results in part to a continuing shortage of engineering students. According to Boran, "Even physics is just philosophy, but engineers do things that work... Nothing beats engineering. And, an engineer with an MBA is the Master of the Universe."

ABOUT THE CEO INDEX

The CEO Confidence Index is released on the third Tuesday of each month. For additional information regarding survey results of public and private sector CEOs, as well as details about regional attitudes on employment, investment and business conditions, please see our full report at http://www.chiefexecutive.net/ceoindex.

ABOUT CHIEF EXECUTIVE MAGAZINE

Chief Executive is a controlled circulation magazine that has been published since 1977. It reaches 42,000 chief executive officers and their peers, reaches a total readership of 228,000. Chief Executive Group facilitates "Chief Executive of the Year," a prestigious honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of his or her peers. A. G. Lafley, George David, Fred Smith, Bill Gates, John Chambers, Michael Dell and Sandy Weill are just some of the leaders who have been honored during the award's 22-year history. Chief Executive also organizes roundtable meetings and conferences to foster opportunities for top corporate officers to discuss key subjects and share their experiences within a community of peers. Visit www.chiefexecutive.net for more information.


CEO Index, June 2007

Respondents: 233

                                                               Change
                                                             from Prev
                                                    Jun 07      Month
CEO Index                                            160.8        4.3
Current Confidence Index                             205.3        4.3
Future Confidence Index                              130.7        4.2
Business Condition Index                             171.8        2.4
Invest Confidence Index                              138.7        2.9
Employment Confidence Index                          177.2        8.2


Are you hiring more or fewer college graduates this year as compared to
last year?

Significantly more                                                3.90%
More                                                             24.24%
About the Same                                                   53.68%
Fewer                                                            13.42%
Significantly Fewer                                               4.76%


As the Class of 2007 graduates which 2 academic backgrounds are MOST
valuable to your business?

Economics/Business                                               33.9%
Engineering                                                     24.08%
Computer Science                                                15.51%
Finance                                                         14.48%
Psychology                                                       2.66%
Biology                                                          2.51%
English                                                          2.36%
Math                                                             1.92%
Cultural Studies                                                 1.33%
History                                                          0.59%
Philosophy                                                       0.30%
Physics                                                          0.30%


As the Class of 2007 graduates which 2 academic backgrounds are LEAST
valuable to your business?

Philosophy                                                        22.4%
Cultural Studies                                                 18.26%
Biology                                                          18.11%
History                                                          16.17%
Psychology                                                        6.59%
English                                                           5.99%
Physics                                                           5.39%
Engineering                                                       2.99%
Finance                                                           1.20%
Economics/Business                                                1.05%
Computer Science                                                  1.05%
Math                                                              0.75%

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