John Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable, said the reluctance to hire in part reflected uncertainty about the staying power of the economic rebound -- a common refrain of executives.
What's more, companies have complained that they face serious uncertainty over the future of employee-benefit costs given the Obama administration's far-reaching overhaul of healthcare.
Huge gains over the last year in worker productivity -- output per hour worked -- also have reduced the need for additional staff in the near term. The harder people work, the less their employers may feel the need to add to payrolls.
Non-farm productivity rose at a 6.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter of last year after surging more than 7.5% in both of the preceding quarters.
Noted for May 19, 2013
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