Has your hard work reduced the need to hire others?

Is your increased productivity taking a job from someone else?

Despite sales growth, consumer products companies are holding back on hiring, largely because their current workforce is more productive, AJC writer Jeremiah McWilliams reports.

Instead of expanding payrolls, McWilliams writes, consumer products companies are squeezing more Coke or bleach or breakfast cereal from the proverbial turnip.

Meanwhile, AJC reporter David Markiewicz writes that it will be 2014 or 2015 or 2016 before metro Atlanta returns to its pre-recession employment levels.

What’s been going on with your job? Are you working 1.5 or twice as hard to keep it? How long has that been going on? Are you burning out?

Many companies — especially the large ones — are sitting on a pile of cash. What’s it going to take for them to use it to hire more people?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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34 comments Add your comment

Tom Hanks

June 21st, 2011
6:35 am

Until Obama is gone….there will be no more jobs. When will people get that?

Destin Dawg

June 21st, 2011
6:44 am

Tom Hanks… is SO right… Obama is NOT business friendly… with taxes, regulations, labor unions… look at the new Boeing Plant in S.C… Obama appointed a Union hack to head the NLRB… then they want to shut down the ( already built ) plant because S.C. is a right to work State that voted out the Union .. these are high paying jobs.. can you believe Obama wants to create jobs ???? !!!!

Eric

June 21st, 2011
7:13 am

All Heil the Obamanation!
Who needs jobs?
Your government will provide everything you need.
Just come over here and Take the Mark …..

Medicaid Supervisor

June 21st, 2011
7:18 am

Hey Comm. Reese – you reading this?? I supervise workers in 3 counties who determine eligibility for GA Medicaid – over $300 million of your tax dollars, fellow Georgians. My workers average $24K (with a degree)before the furloughs and I make a whopping $29K – $27K after the furloughs. No raise in 5 years and a hiring freeze for over 2 years means everyone is stressed, and most are looking to leave. The supervisors I know all travel to their counties on their own dime as the State won’t even pay us to go do our jobs. Tired of it? YES!! Planning to leave? YES!!

Tamika

June 21st, 2011
7:41 am

When the Obama adminstration began, many people warned us about the effect of more regulation, business animosity and the threat of ever higher taxes. We have tried this path before and the result is high enemployment and a stagnant economy.

Remember Joe Biden calling 2010 “Recovery Summer”?

Rham Emanuel, Obama’s closest advisor said not to “waste” a good recession. He and the rest of hte adminstration seemed to have no clue that their choices would depress economic activity and delay the recovery. He was eager to take advantage of the downturn to implement his agenda. He should have been worried about the accountability for failure that will follow the party in power.

Nothing will be better until we change course.

LuckyDawg

June 21st, 2011
8:08 am

In March, I was laid off from my old job after 11 years. Since then I have been able to find two lower paying jobs and regain the level of income I had before. The catch? I’m working 70 hours a week to do it. It’s a fact that if you want to get ahead in the current economy you have to find a way to work better, faster and cheaper.
Is the current administration to blame? No doubt. But what we are experiencing now is the result of mistakes made over the last 40-50 years. Likewise Obamas mistakes will effect us and our kids for many years into the future.

President Barack Obama

June 21st, 2011
8:43 am

I will provide government jobs to all who bow down to the Democratic Party.

The Economy

June 21st, 2011
8:56 am

Get used to high unemployment, it’s the future. Larger upper class, larger lower class,it’s the Washington way.

Fletch

June 21st, 2011
8:57 am

Wow, the sheep are out early. Let me fill you all in on a little secret. As business owners, my partners and I only hire when we have the demand to justify it. The same holds true for most organizations. In case you missed reading the article and decided to go straight to the Obama bashing, it stated that productivity is up, and there is plenty of cash to go around. There is no hiring, because there is NO DEMAND. I’m not a fan of Obama, and I haven’t voted since I helped to put GW into office the first time, but I am a realist. If the comments on here reflect the limit of you analytical thinking, I have two pieces of advice for you. 1. If you have a job, hold on to it. Your lucky someone is still willing to pay you. 2. If you don’t have a job, be grateful that Obama is willing to throw you the cash, becuase no one will want you.

Bobby

June 21st, 2011
8:59 am

I like my job fine despite 4 years of no raises, greatly reduced bonuses and higher insurance costs. Nevertheless I’m holding on for dear life until I get to 62 (just shy of 58 now) and then, if still employed to 66. On the other hand I see many people leaving and getting better jobs and salaries so the economy is improving. But for older workers such as myself it’s definitely a stressful time.

First Sergeant

June 21st, 2011
9:06 am

You folks take a serious subject and make a mockery of it. You aren’t satisfied unless the subject leads to “Obama Bashing”. The fact is, your Republican politicians and their business cronies have succeeded in robbing the Unitied States of it’s middle class. The sad part is, YOU ALL KNOW THIS, but because of your deep hatred of anything other than Republican, you allow yourselves to be manipulated with false propaganda by your leaders.

Mr. Unger stated, “Meanwhile, AJC reporter David Markiewicz writes that it will be 2014 or 2015 or 2016 before metro Atlanta returns to its pre-recession employment levels.”

President Obama had absolutely nothing to do with the employment situation in Atlanta. Remember, your Republican politicians run this state. Ya’ll voted them in. Now, why don’t ya’ll just stop with the bashing of the US President and take a serious look at your own state politicians. What you folks here fail to realize is that, “No one takes you serious when you take a discussion and twist and turn it to fit your agenda.”

Bobby

June 21st, 2011
9:08 am

@Tom Hanks Can’t say I’ve heard any Republicans offer any ideas how to increase employment and/or the economy. All I hear out of them is more Obama bashing, which does nothing to resolve our problems.

Even if McCain had won I think the economic stresses had already started that would put our economy into its present state. Both Bush and Obama used stimulus funds (Bush for banking, Obama for business) to try to work our way out of the recession. Whether or not the stimulus helped or hurt is rather precarious but simply getting rid of Obama will not resolve our problems.

GrannyCares

June 21st, 2011
9:17 am

Two major challenges face our country:

*First, our public school system must develop literate and globally competitive graduates. Instead of improving in math, science, reading, and now — history, our kids continue to fall behind. Businesses are paying a heft price in taxes to do business in the US at present. Our corporate tax rate is second highest in the world. Businesses can ill afford to assume the responsibility of teaching their workers what they failed to acquire while they were in the public school system. It is much cheaper for them to go to China or Korea where the work force is better prepared. IT IS NOT ALL OF THE TEACHER’S FAULT! Over recent decades, too many parents have pressured teachers into grade inflation — in part due to the Hope Scholarship in Georgia. If parents are not applying discipline at home; setting high academic standards for their kids; and applying some “sticks” when needed, the child may be spending a lot more time with their parents when they reach their 20’s.

Second, under the Obama administration, businesses CANNOT PLAN ON ANYTHING. An example, after Obama extended the Bush tax cuts December 2010, he immediately started threatening businesses that he was going to rescind that policy and commence taxing income over $250,000. Such a policy would cause some smaller businesses to close their doors, so why should they hire anyone? For larger businesses, would hate to see our future predicated on political appointees on the NLRB! The current Boeing fiasco is sending chills with major businesses — if they are told where they can build plants and where they can’t! Candidly, that is NONE OF GOVERNMENT’S BUSINESS!! Further, there appears to be a lack of comprehension on the part of the Obama administration regarding the law of ‘SUPPLY AND DEMAND’. Why are we not pursuing becoming energy independent — we have oil, gas, coal and of course nuclear? Instead, we roll over and pay $4 a gallon for gas, with oil coming from overseas. OIL DRIVES OUR FOREIGN POLICY! How is that working for us gang??

Unless things drastically change, fully expect to see more jobs move overseas. Our young people who prepare themselves to compete globally will be in a position to obtain employment (overseas). They will have to acquire a foreign language, but they will work. For those who are not prepared, GOD HELP THEM!

Gwinnettian

June 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Remember the word ‘Payola’? It was a scam of the record industry decades ago. The songs that became popular were the ones the record companies actually paid the stations to play. ‘Pay for play’ It was revealed and was a huge scandal of the industry. Songs were not appreciated or attained success on their own merits; they unfairly rose to the top by virtue of an industry ‘bribe’ so to speak.

This is exactly how Obama has run the economy. The industries and vehicles that made him President (SEIU, Auto Workers, Welfare recipients, and Gov’t workers) were richly rewarded with lavish bailouts, unprecedented access both to the Pres and to creating policy. The entities (in this case Businesses big and small) that were operating on their own – did not get the same assistance. In fact they got higher taxes, the ogreish threat of regulation, the eventuality of a healthcare system that would cripple any hope of hiring, and the resultant economy that makes capitalism not work well.

Problem for Obama is that he rode the horse too hard. He got his pet agendas passed. He paid off the people he owed for it. But he didn’t have the experience to see or know or the humility to even acknowledge that his policies further crippled our macro economy. He is in wayyyyyy over his head now and we have no hope of coming out of this until he a)resigns – which a narcissist would never do, or b)is voted out, which I think becomes more and more likely every single day – thank goodness!

The only real debate left on the issue is; can the American way of life and economy continue to tread water until the end of this horrible Administration?

Fletch

June 21st, 2011
9:20 am

Bobby – “Whether or not the stimulus helped or hurt is rather precarious but simply getting rid of Obama will not resolve our problems.”

Excellent observation! If companies are able to do more with less, then that means they are able to add more to the bottom line. It doesn’t matter one way or the other who the sitting POTUS is. Do you honestly think that a company is suddenly going to open the employment floodgates simply because the they like the President better? Business is business, whether there is a DEM or a Repub in the whitehouse, business will continue to increase and decrease payrolls based on demand.

First Sergeant

June 21st, 2011
9:21 am

Fletch

June 21st, 2011
8:57 am

Fletch, very good post with rational thinking and justification. In my heart, I do not believe that so many of these posters honestly believe the crap they post, where they blame everything from A to Z on President Obama, when things don’t go their way in life. Hell, even the FOX stations are now admitting to an improving economy. Now, I know many of these posters have comprehension problems when it comes to reading, but again, FOX repeated it, so what is their problem now? Is it just, “An opportunity to bash President Obama?” Man I will tell you, these people lose credibility daily.

williebkind

June 21st, 2011
9:23 am

“Whether or not the stimulus helped or hurt is rather precarious but simply getting rid of Obama will not resolve our problems.”

It will be the first giant step for man and a giant leap for mankind.

RL

June 21st, 2011
9:29 am

Henry, don’t you know any economics? Or did you just go to journalism school?

Fletch

June 21st, 2011
9:33 am

Granny – “Second, under the Obama administration, businesses CANNOT PLAN ON ANYTHING. An example, after Obama extended the Bush tax cuts December 2010, he immediately started threatening businesses that he was going to rescind that policy and commence taxing income over $250,000. Such a policy would cause some smaller businesses to close their doors, so why should they hire anyone?

Wow, where to start. By Grannies reasoning, we had all better pull every last dollar out of the stock market, too much uncertainty there. While your at it, better stay home and never drive on the Atlanta freeways, Too much uncertainty. In regard to businesses not hiring, please spare me the “they need to have certainty” to do so mantra. There is no company in the world that will hesitate to hire if the denad is there. As to the tax rate for the corporations, it’s offset by deductions they are legally allowed to take. Perhaps Granny would prefer to level the playing field in order to be more competative with our foreign counterparts. Fine, please tell me which one of you is willing to take a job paying a dollar a day in order to bring manufacturing back from China? Which one of you IT professionals will be willing to work for $15,000 a year in order to bring those jobs back from India? Anyone, anyone?

futurist

June 21st, 2011
9:40 am

the economy’s worse than ever and the job market is terrible. Hope and change!!! Yes we can!!!! Power to the unions!!! More jobs shipped overseas!!!!

YES!!!!!

First Sergeant

June 21st, 2011
9:40 am

Gwinnettian

June 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Just one question Gwinnettian. Where were you from 2000 – 2008, when we (Americans) were being led down this hole by the Bush administration. Oh yea, it was a Republican Administration!

RL

June 21st, 2011
9:47 am

I am reading in the “Charleston Regional Business Journal” about the $5.9 billion per year impact of Boeing’s impact will have on South Carolina. Now however, the Department of Labor is bringing suit against Boeing for building the plant in SC rather than building it in Washington state. Based upon the DOL action, I think Boeing should have built the plant in Mexico.

Fletch

June 21st, 2011
9:56 am

futurist – “More jobs shipped overseas!!!!”

As in my previous post, which option do you want the dollar a day for manufacturing or the $15,000 a year for I.T.?

By the way, the economy is a subjective matter. if you invest wisely, take advantage of the tax code and continue to carefully gropw yoiur business then the economy is fine. If however, you only survive paycheck to paycheck (broad assumption based on your juvenile post) then yes, you probably do have it harder than some. However, the choice is up to you, are you going to spend the rest of your life bitching, or are you going to actually do something about it?

Tyler Durden

June 21st, 2011
10:07 am

What was the question?

Amused

June 21st, 2011
10:24 am

Fletch is my Hero!

Judge Smails

June 21st, 2011
10:35 am

The world needs ditch diggers too!!!

PappyHappy

June 21st, 2011
11:15 am

Granny makes some excellent points. Why is it taking upwards of SIX years for some of our kids to get a four year degree — and usually in a soft discipline? Businesses are not going to underwrite hard skill training when kids do not have the basics. Ask your local colleges what percent are having to take remedial courses in math, science, English — if they can read!! We kid ourselves about enhancing our kid’s ‘cognitive skills’ when they are not accustomed to comprehending what is in a text book!

MM

June 21st, 2011
11:31 am

Businesses need TAX INCENTIVES to bring jobs back to America. Hire american workers. Send the illegals packing.

Use the Prisoners for cheap labor on the farms!! They are just sitting around, forming gangs in the prisons. Make them get out and do physical labor. Nothing deters bad decisions like a little physical labor. You broke the law, no go work for $1.00/hour in the hot sun, picking peanuts.

Buzz G

June 21st, 2011
12:10 pm

Its about time the AJC hires someone with some knowledge of economics.

Harvey Schock

June 21st, 2011
12:49 pm

Fletch, thank you for being honest and stating the obvious. I have said over and over that businesses will not hire for those exact reasons. After the massive lay-offs, productivity went up. Employees are working harder and are being cross-trained in other departments; thus, saving the company tons of money.

Alan

June 21st, 2011
2:45 pm

“Many companies — especially the large ones — are sitting on a pile of cash. What’s it going to take for them to use it to hire more people?”

Henry companies don’t owe anyone a job. Their “pile of cash” is an asset that they’ll deploy as needed. It’s not some social engineering tool that they’re obligated to spend on warm bodies for the greater good.

Hats off to any business that produces as much, or more, with fewer workers. That’s more profit for the owners and shareholders.

Fortune 500 CEO

June 21st, 2011
3:06 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Alan, but we have lobbyists with actual influence who do that for us. Moreover, no one likes a kiss-*ss; you’re not, nor will you ever be, one of us.

Viet Vet

June 21st, 2011
5:36 pm

Sarge and Fletch,
This old vet is with you 100%. These right wing zealots are rushing off a cliff as fast as they can and want to drag the rest of us with them. btw, I’m a small business owner who saw this coming way back when Bush launched his personal war on Saddam AND cut taxes. Over the next few years I trimmed my payroll to just my daughter and myself, banked as much as I could, and I’m riding out the storm ok for now. Just hope I can hold out until Ryan and the so-called conservatives self-destruct.

The Truth be Told

June 22nd, 2011
1:21 pm

I work in the Financial Arena and I own a business. The only way to get this economy moving is to promote businesses to open and hire. That will only happen when money is available to lend and costs and taxes are lowered. It is time for a leader to stop the bleading of jobs to foreign lands and foreign nationals and illegal immigrants. Many come to this country to study and stay on hired by the corporations. Americans lose Jobs. Others are looked over due to lack of education which is because of the political correctness of our schools. These children are not being taught fundamentals but are being brainwashed in the elite social experimentation. Businesses and American ingenuity are being stiffled by regulations, and high taxes and rules that make no sense to anyone but the elite which again wants the government to be a nanny state and what neighbors turning in neighbors as in past communist regimes. Again only when we have a leader that will reject the social elite for the absurd way they think and are leading this nation. Lets start by taxing Foreign Corporations. If they want to sell Americans and not employ Americans they they should pay. Second we should loan to Americans. Money needs to go to individuals and to corporations that want to add jobs and employ Americans. Third we need to favor Americans. If the Government is going to buy it must insist that the goods are produced in the US. It sounds like Fletch just needs to go to India or China. He apparantly does not understand that Government policies do make a difference. They can make or break this Country. So far OBAMA gets an F in doing anything to help this nation recover. In fact he is keeping us in recession. Now Republicans are full of talk but little on ideas of really how to change the policies that are costing this country a middle class and a future. However one Republican has been saying the right things giving us substance but the MSNBCs and the leftist media wants to destroy his campaign before it starts.I guess they are scared. I am standing with Newt Gingrich because we need thoughtful leadership not just people who can talk but those that will act. Listen He has a plan and it will change our direction and our country.