Is The American Workforce Maxed Out?

ATLANTA, Ga. – April , 2014 –  More business leaders are expecting strong growth ahead but they won’t be hiring and they still believe the recession remains.  That’s one of the seeming contradictions revealed in the latest Senior Management Survey by Cornerstone International Group released today.

Despite a stubborn recession, many firms have recorded record profits through a combination of productivity technology and increased output from workers.  Survey results show that the majority of senior managers expect robust growth for a fourth straight year, despite pessimism with regard to the economy and no plans to increase the workforce in 2014.

“It’s a contradiction”, says Larry Shoemaker of Atlanta, President of Cornerstone International Group.  “After seven years of adverse market conditions and high unemployment, how do you continually forecast growth over 15%?

“We think this is a warning flag.   Many people feel that workforces around the world are being maxed out.  It will be difficult to have sustainable profit levels with this amount of stress.”

A full report of the ninth annual survey can be obtained here.

One answer suggested by the survey analysis is that the current environment no longer reflects a recession but a new economic state in which productivity technology and a ”work-more” strategy of fewer employees producing more has radically altered the cost base.
This would help to explain why jobs lost in this latest recession have not yet been recovered, even after a period longer than the last two recessions combined.

The survey is conducted each spring by Cornerstone International Group, a retained executive search organization with offices in over 70 locations around the world.

Composition of the respondents this year was as follows:

By market:    Latin America 41% | US and Canada 38% | EMEA 33% | Asia-Pac 12%
By revenue:    Under $50M 34% | $50-$500M 25% | $5009-$1B 10% | Over $1B 31%


Tami Fitzpatrick
Cornerstone Atlanta

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