Economic concerns are prompting businesses in the South Jersey/Philadelphia region to put a hold on hiring, according to a South Jersey CPA firm’s survey of chief executive and financial officers.
“Until the world markets stabilize, the hiring freeze will endure,” said Ren Cicalese, managing shareholder of Alloy Silverstein Group, in Cherry Hill. “Companies are getting used to doing more with less. It’s going to take sustained growth to put a dent in unemployment.”
Many executives don’t see that happening yet. In February, 30 percent of survey respondents saw improvements in the local economy — but only 15 percent felt that way in May, and only 5 percent saw improvements in the August survey, according to the firm.
Still, only 22 percent of respondents expect to earn less in 2011 compared to 2010.
“Some of our members are upbeat,” said Debra P. DiLorenzo, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. “Things are still slow in the real estate industry, but they’re picking up for banking and other financial services.”
Another chamber of commerce executive also saw mixed results.
“I couldn’t say that certain industries are doing better or worse — the results run the gamut,” said Les Vail, CEO of the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce. “But I do see that a lot of companies aren’t hiring. Many of them are making do with less staff.”