Price Waterhouse Coopers Press Release: August 5, 2010 – The latest edition of the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Manufacturing Barometer reports that optimism about the U.S. economy is down slightly from last quarter, but still shows strength with almost half (45 percent) of U.S. industrial manufacturers optimistic about the next 12 months, according to the Q2 2010 report. Hiring plans made a significant jump in Q2 2010. Over the next 12 months, 47 percent of panelists plan to add employees to their workforces, up 20 points from last quarter.
I’m not sure what my friends at PWC are smoking, but they might think about sharing it (just medicinally, of course) with the general population since the majority of American workers don’t feel very optimistic at all. At best, the small business owner feels that the economy is not going to get (much) worse. This lackluster economy shed 131,000 jobs in July and although the unemployment rate held steady at 9.5%, the number of discouraged workers who just dropped out of looking for a job is up by 389,000 from just a year ago. The real disturbing number is that almost one million workers have dropped out of the labor force since April. In general, the only place that manufacturing jobs were added was in the auto industry which has been bailed out of its gross mismanagement and inefficiencies by billions of stimulus dollars.
We are now 2.5 million jobs short of where we need to be just to get to 8% unemployment. Assuming that the boy scouts in Washington could figure out a way to deal with this, we would still wake up every morning to a $1.4 trillion deficit.
Personally, I like the guys at PWC, but I think that they need to climb down out of their ivory tower, leave the Fortune 500 companies alone since they can aptly deal with their own issues, go out and listen to the real people among millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs…and stop smoking the weed.