• But nearly two-thirds of the CEOs remain concerned about finding the right people – that’s the highest ever and up from 46% in 2009.
• While technological advances will make it both easier and harder to find skilled workers, there is no question that CEOs are growing steadily more anxious about the talent issue.
• So overall it’s a fragile optimism – a glass half full – although CEOs still have a number of serious concerns.
• Over-regulation, a perennial in the survey, topped the list, cited by 72%, of respondents. In fact, this year, worries about the impact of regulation overtook economic concerns.
• Maybe this begins to explain the disconnect I mentioned earlier – where the CEOs seem to be more optimistic about the global economy than their own company’s prospects.
• Nearly 80% of CEOs said regulation had increased their costs and 40% said regulation had inhibited their company from pursuing new business or to innovate.
• The ability of debt-laden governments to tackle soaring deficits also continues to be one of the biggest clouds on CEOs’ horizon, with over 70% citing this concern -- again the highest level that we have seen. And this soars to 92% for CEOs in the US, the highest level in any country around the world.
• Other top CEO concerns included slowing growth -- in both developed economies and high growth markets -- and the possibility of increased taxes.
• Specifically CEOs said that the international tax system desperately needs overhaul. Two-thirds said the tax system needs reform, but just over a quarter said they had faith that current OECD reform initiative would actually succeed.
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